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Incident Name:
Date:  11/1/1980
Personnel:  Robert LaValle
Age:  43
Agency/Organization:  Circle Pines Fire Department, now Lexington FD
Position: chief, firefighter


In 1980, the members of the Circle Pines Fire Department held a Halloween party for members’ families. During the party a fire alarm came in for a grass fire in the field behind the Down Under bar. Some members responded from the party, and others came from home. The first crew on the scene heard the radio message: “Firefighter down. Send ambulance to fire station.” Chief Bob LaValle had arrived at the fire station from the party and had a massive heart attack on the apron of the station. The ambulance was summoned from Unity Hospital. Several of the department members went to the hospital that evening still dressed in costume beneath firefighting gear. Chief LaValle died several hours later, the department’s only death in the line of duty. A plaque was placed at the base of the station’s flagpole in commemoration.

(The above provided courtesy of from the book “Circle Pines and Lexington Minnesota, History of the 1800s to 2000” by Stephen Lee, a member of Circle Pines FD and its successor department, Centennial FD.)


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Circle Pines Fire Department, Lexington, MN

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Minnesota Death Index: Robert LaValle

    Name: Robert J. LaValle

    Event Type: Death

    Event Date: 01 Nov 1980

    Event Place: Anoka, Minnesota

    Birth Date: 14 Mar 1937

    Mother's Maiden Name: Curry

  • US Social Security Death Index: Robert LaValle

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