DC’s most senior retired firefighter celebrates 104th birthday

Harry Kelly of Northwest D.C. celebrated his 104th birthday on Thursday with a celebration from his neighbors and the D.C. Fire and EMS Department.

As the most senior retired firefighter, Kelly received balloons from the department members and sat in the driver’s seat of a firetruck. Kelly began firefighting at Engine 4, D.C.’s first all black firehouse, and served from 1948-1971.

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"We’ve got a great neighbor, he’s incredible. Everytime I attempt to help him with the trash or the snow, Mr. Kelly shoos me away and insists on doing it himself," said his neighbor Don Lucas. "As a matter of fact, he would rather do the snow. I can’t even get my 15 year-old-son to do the snow, but Mr. Kelly does his own snow."

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DC Fire and EMS

Kelly is a WWII veteran, and his son, Steve Kelly, is also a retired firefighter who served for 25 years.

"I know I’ll never forget this birthday, and neither will he. This is fantastic," said his wife Bernice Kelly.