CHARLESTON, SC - Retired Battalion Chief Calvin C. Allen, 74, passed away on Thursday, August 5th, 1999 at a Charleston hospital. All Charleston Fire stations have lowered their flags to half staff in his honor.

Chief Allen served the Charleston Fire Department from 1952 until 1994.

In 1952 when Chief Allen started his career with the CFD, the department was still segregated. He was assigned to the all-black Truck Company on Coming Street. He was promoted to Engineer in 1959.

He decided to transfer over to the Fire Inspection Office in 1974, however he returned to the Suppression Division only two years later.

Chief Allen became the first African-American to attain the position of Battalion Chief in 1981. He remained there until his retirement in 1994. He had a total of 42 years of dedicated service to the citizens of the City of Charleston.

He was born in Charleston and was an active Mason and Shriner. He was also an active member of Morris Brown AME Church in Downtown Charleston. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mary Moultrie Allen and his four sons.

William M. Smith Funeral Home of 2 Radcliffe Street is in charge of handling Chief Allen's services. They will be announced possibly later today.