Wharton photo featured in unsavory firehouse display

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Fire Services Director Alvin Benson is alarmed.

"Well, you know, some things aren't funny," said Benson.

Benson is upset by a recent discovery inside fire station number 16 on Lamar Avenue near Airways.

"Inappropriate photos," said Benson.  "Quite frankly, pretty embarrassing," he added.

It is unclear the order in which they were displayed.  However, a photo of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton ended up alongside photos of Adolph Hitler and Osama Bin Laden.

"We're going to find out who placed the photos and why," said Benson.  "And we're going get to the details..and deal with it," he added.

Benson also said he wants to figure out if any supervisors knew about the display before it came to his attention last weekend.

"It's going to be serious consequences," said Benson.

Coincidentally, those working inside station 16 are the same firefighters who would respond to any emergency at the mayor's own house.  It sits not far away.

A spokesperson in Wharton's office is unaware of any dispute with a particular firefighter, or the department in general, which may have prompted the photo display.  Many Memphians are stumped as well.

"And I absolutely feel there's no reason for anybody to feel that way about the man," said Betty Carter.

"Sounds like a joke but not funny," said Ronnie Hunt.  "Something that should be looked into," he added.

Director Benson told Action News 5 the joke will eventually be on whomever tarnishes the reputation of his department.

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