Ralph B. Hawcroft

Chief Ralph Hawcroft of the Reno Fire Department was killed in a traffic accident while responding to a fire at 549 Bell Street in Reno on November 12, 1928. Ralph was the head of the Reno Fire Department for almost 18 years. Ralph was driving his vehicle to the site of the fire when it collided with a taxicab also transporting a firefighter to the blaze. Ralph’s vehicle was flipped, and he was pinned beneath it. An injury to the base of his skull was responsible for his passing.

Ralph had a passion for dahlias and airplanes. He started by planting a few scrawny blooms in his backyard, and they grew over the years into a beautiful garden. Ralph counted the burning of the old Riverside hotel in Reno in 1921 as his biggest fire. He was a member of the Reno Elks Lodge No. 597 and Reno Lodge of Odd Fellows No. 14. He was survived by his wife, Cora; his daughter, Rawlings; and his brother, Lee – all of Reno.