Ex-chief and charter member Alfred “Fred” Kuhne, 88, a charter member of the Dix Hills Fire Department, and a former chief, has died.
Kuhne was the last surviving charter member of the department, a group of 40 residents that recognized the need for fire protection in the growing community of Dix Hills and formed the Dix Hills Fire Company in 1947. Kuhne and his father, Alfred, were among those who formed the foundation of what the department is today.
After acquiring and storing apparatus on the property of several members, the first firehouse was built by the membership in 1950 on Deer Park Avenue south of the Long Island Expressway where Station One now stands.
Kuhne advanced through the officer ranks and served as assistant chief in the mid-1960’s. He was an ex-captain of Company Three, as well as an ex-captain of the Fire Police Squad, and was the most senior member of the department with 71-years of service.
Kuhne was one of the first dispatchers hired for the Dix Hills Fire District in 1967, when they began full time dispatch operations. He also served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
He is survived by his loving wife Ethel, daughters Cheryl and Laura, and granddaughter Felicia.
He died Dec. 20.
Visitation and Firematic Services were held at the Boyd-Caratozzolo Funeral Home in Deer Park, with interment at Melville Cemetery.