Bridge named after NC firefighter killed in the line of duty

Richard Sheltra, 20, died of smoke inhalation while batting a shopping mall fire

By Joe Marusak
The Charlotte Observer

PINEVILLE, N.C. — A Pineville bridge has been named for Richard Sheltra, the 20-year-old firefighter killed in the line of duty in April 2016.

The N.C. Board of Transportation on Thursday unanimously approved naming the bridge on South Polk Street over Little Sugar Creek in honor of Sheltra.

Sheltra, Pineville’s 2015 top rookie firefighter and the son of firefighters, was called to the April 30 fire just before 9 p.m. at the Edwin Watts golf store after lightning struck the Countryside shopping center on Pineville-Matthews Road. At some point, Sheltra’s fellow firefighters lost track of him, but he was believed to be on his way out.

He never made it, and had to be pulled out. Sheltra died from inhaling combustibles, fire officials said.

State Rep. Scott Stone, R-Mecklenburg, who represents part of Pineville, and Pineville Mayor Jack Edwards submitted a request this year to honor Sheltra by naming the recently completed bridge after him.

“Richard Sheltra gave his life in service of his community,” Stone said. “It is fitting that he be remembered for this sacrifice.”

“I’m grateful to all those who have supported this effort over the past year,” Edwards said. “I am proud that Pineville will have a permanent memorial to Richard Sheltra.”

Copyright 2017 The Charlotte Observer

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