Harold Claude Mason Jr., a retired Baltimore City Fire Department battalion chief who headed the fire communications bureau, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Jan. 27 at his Owings Mills home.
He was 72.
Born in Baltimore and raised on Brunt Street in West Baltimore, he was the son of Harold Mason, a Baltimore Transit Co. driver, and his wife, Grace.
He was a 1959 graduate of City College, where he played clarinet in the school band. After graduation he joined the Air Force and was assigned to posts in Texas, Greenland and Vietnam.
Family members said that an uncle, Charles Thomas, a pioneering African-American member of the Baltimore City Fire...