IFLODD: Firefighter Memorial

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name Kody Vanfossan
Agency Christopher Fire Department
Rank Firefighter
Type of Firefighter Paid-On-Call (POC)
Age Range 21 to 25
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 5/5/2019
Cause of Death Contact/Exposure
Nature of Death Asphyxiation
Attribute of Death Smoke inhalation
Type of Duty Firefighting operations , Search and rescue operations

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Christopher
Incident State IL
Incident Date 5/5/2019
Incident Location Vacant property
Incident Attribute Structural collapses , Fires

Incident Summary

On May 5, 2019, Firefighter Kody Vanfossan of the Christopher Fire Department died in the line of duty while fighting a residential fire in Christopher, Illinois.

Firefighters responded to a working fire at a two-story commercial building and began searching the first floor for occupants. Firefighter Vanfossan was working with his father Lieutenant Vanfossan, who was also with the Christopher Fire Department, on a search of the first floor when they attempted to ascend the stairs to the second floor of the building. Finding instability in the stairs that prevented them from using them, Firefighter Vanfossan and Lieutenant Vanfossan used a ground ladder inside of the building to bridge over the stairs while other Christopher firefighters accessed the second story from ground ladders outside of the structure. When fire conditions worsened, all firefighters were ordered to leave the second story. Lieutenant Vanfossan was located and removed from the bottom of the interior stairwell but Firefighter Vanfossan could not be located by firefighters. Fire conditions continued to deteriorate to the point that the search for Firefighter Vanfossan was suspended. He was later located, removed from the building, and transported to the coroner’s office. His cause of death was found to be smoke inhalation/asphyxiation.

Funeral services for Vanfossan were held at the Christopher High School Gymnasium in Christopher on May 10, and he was interred at St. Andrew Catholic Cemetery in Christopher.

Vanfossan had been a firefighter with the Christopher Fire Department for approximately 3 years at the time of his death. He was employed by Nascote Industries in Nashville. Vanfossan was survived by his fiancé and five-month-old son.


“Firefighter Fatality Notice for Kody Michael Vanfossan,” U.S. Fire Administration.

Gabriel Neely-Streit, “ ‘A Fallen Brother’: Christopher mourns loss of firefighter Kody Vanfossan,” thesouthern.com, May 6, 2019.

Obituary for Kody Michael Vanfossan, www.gilbertfuneralhomes.com.

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