Gerald T. Knauer, 41, firefighter for city

October 03, 2002

Gerald T. Knauer, a Baltimore firefighter who served with Engine Company 54, died in a motorcycle accident Sunday in Frederick. He was 41 and lived in Upperco.

Mr. Knauer was riding his Harley-Davidson when a car in front of him caused an accident on U.S. 15. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His fiancee, Carol Lynn Nelson, also of Upperco, who was riding behind him on another motorcycle, was also injured in the accident and was treated at Frederick Memorial Hospital.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Overlea, Mr. Knauer was a 1979 graduate of Towson Catholic High School. He was an apprentice carpenter for several years before joining the Baltimore City Fire Department in 1985.

He served at Truck Company 5 in the 1200 block of E. Oliver St. before being promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 1993. He served at Truck Company 1, one of the department's busiest truck companies, for nine years, until being assigned to Engine Company 54 in Northeast Baltimore.

Mr. Knauer was commended by the department for his role in rescuing a person who had fallen into the Inner Harbor.

"He and other members of his company dove into the water while disregarding their own personal safety, successfully located and removed the victim," according to a Fire Department profile of Mr. Knauer.

He enjoyed riding his motorcycle, hunting and attending the theater and concerts. He also played the trumpet and was learning to play the bagpipes.

He also liked golden retrievers and at one time owned three.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Leonard J. Ruck Funeral Home, 5305 Harford Road.

In addition to his fiancee, Mr. Knauer is survived by a son, Kevin M. Jones of Perry Hall; his parents, Francis J. Knauer Sr. and Betty J. Knauer of Millsboro, Del.; and a sister, Elizabeth J. Radawiec of Millsboro. His brother, Francis J. Knauer Jr., died in 2000.

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