|Agency||Park Forest Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Age Range||36 to 40|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||2/8/1963|
|Cause of Death||Fall|
|Nature of Death||Trauma|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Firefighting operations|
On February 8, 1963, Captain Adolph “Shorty” Pfeifer, Jr., of the Park Forest Fire Department died in the line of duty while fighting a fire at a construction site.
At 6:32PM, Park Forest firefighters responded to a fire at a Sears, Roebuck & Company store under construction near the intersection of Western and Victory Avenues. Pfeifer was off duty at the time, but responded to the fire with Engine 2. Firefighters faced heavy smoke as they moved through the building to extinguish the fire, and, because of the low visibility, Pfeifer accidentally entered an open elevator shaft and fell from the building’s second floor to the basement. Pfeifer was quickly rescued from the elevator shaft, but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead on arrival at St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights.
Funeral services for Pfeifer were held on February 12, and he was interred at Skyline Memorial Cemetery in Monee. A member of the Park Forest Fire Department since 1951, and the department’s first career firefighter, Pfeifer was survived by his widow and two children.
On October 2, 1965, the Park Forest Fire Department dedicated a permanent training site in Pfeifer’s memory, and on October 10, 2009, Park Forest dedicated a Fire and Police Memorial that pays special tribute to Pfeifer’s line of duty death.
“Park Forest Fire Captain Killed in Fall,” Chicago Daily Tribune, February 9, 1963.
“Fire Captain Falls to Death, Set Inquest,” Chicago Daily Tribune, February 10, 1963.
“Park Forest Dedicates Memorial For Those Who Serve,” eNews Park Forest, October 10, 2009.