Patrolman Frederick E. Pettit

Patrolman Frederick E. Pettit

Saratoga Springs Police Department, New York

End of Watch Sunday, January 27, 1957

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Frederick E. Pettit

Patrolman Frederick Pettit was killed while assisting the local fire department at the scene of a major fire in the city's downtown district on Broadway Street.

He was standing with the fire chief and assistant fire chief when an explosion occurred inside one of the burning buildings. The explosion blew a large number of bricks onto the three, killing Patrolman Pettit and injuring the other two.

Patrolman Pettit had served with the Saratoga Springs Police Department for 14 years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge 4

Incident Details

  • Cause Fire


Most Recent Reflection

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Mr. Pettit was, is, and always will be my grandfather. I am the son of Shirley Pettit AKA Shirley Van Heste, AKA Shirley Burgess, and grandson of Ann Pettit. My ma let us know what happened to him on that day of the fire. I would have like to have known him before his passing but God had a different plan. I served 28 years in the Air Force protecting my country and I would like to think that he would be proud of me. Whenever I am in Saratoga Springs I visit my ma as well as his and my grandma's memorial. My lovely bride, Kris, surprised me one day by showing the wall memorial in Albany, NY, of fallen first responders and it made me very proud. Until we meet grandpa, RIP...Fred Van Heste.

Frederick E. Van Heste, SMSgt, USAF, Ret
First Grandson

February 23, 2024

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