- Wildwood Fire Department
- New Jersey
- Year of Death: 1952
Firefighter Charles Bonner joined the Holly Beach Fire Company on February 11, 1924 and was transferred to the Municipal Fire Division on November 11, 1938. He played a major role in the activities of the fire companies, participating in the minstrel shows sponsored by the departments. He was an end man. He was also a member of the Hereford Masonic Lodge.
Firefighter Bonner had been under a doctor’s care for several weeks prior to the fire that occurred at Rio Grande and Pacific Avenues, destroying Ken’s Bowldrome and Locke’s Cigar Store. The loss was set at $80,000. The fire started with a large explosion that forced out the front of the bowling alley. Firefighter Bonner apparently suffered a stroke during the excitement and was sent home. He later went to the hospital where he died.
He was survived at the time of his death by two sons, James and Charles Jr., both of whom were in the U.S. Navy; and two daughters, Mary Ann and Corrine, both of Philadelphia. He was also survived by his sister.
This firefighter line of duty fatality occurred before the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial was built in Emmitsburg, Maryland. While this firefighter has not been officially honored at the Memorial site, there are plans to do so when resources are available.