Abram Coles Jr., Columbia's First Black Fire Captain, Dies

7:08 PM, Dec 13, 2012   |    comments
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Abram Coles Jr. (left) stands beside Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins. (Image: Columbia Fire Department)

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A pioneer in the history of the Columbia Fire Department has passed away.

Abram Coles Jr. died this week at the age of 87.

Coles was the first African-American to become a captain in the Columbia Fire Department.

In 1953, Coles was one of the original eight black firefighters to join the department. Coles was the last surviving member of that group.

He spent over 35 years putting out fires in the city. WLTX profiled Coles in 2011. Watch the Report

Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins, the first African-American fire chief in the city's history, said Wednesday, "Captain Coles was good a friend and mentor to me.  Much of what I have learned in the fire service was due to his leadership and training."

Captain Coles is survived by his wife Jacqueline, daughter D'Jaris Coles-White, four grandchildren and one great grandchild.


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