|Agency||Chicago Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Age Range||51 to 55|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||2/6/1927|
|Cause of Death||Struck by object|
|Nature of Death||Trauma|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Firefighting operations|
On February 6, 1927, Chicago Fire Department Firefighters William Flynn of Engine 90 and David Lynch of Engine 3 died in the line of duty when they were caught in a structural collapse while fighting a fire in the Dix Street Metropolitan Building.
A watchman discovered the fire at around 8AM, but the five-story brick building was already fully involved when the first responding fire companies arrived on scene. A 2-11 and a 4-11 alarm were immediately raised, and nearly one-quarter of the city’s fire apparatus responded to the blaze. Firefighters battled the fire for more than four hours, and the flames were successfully contained within the four walls of the building.
Recognizing that the fire had consumed many of the building’s interior timbers, rendering it structurally unsound, firefighters were in the process of tearing down the walls when the west wall suddenly buckled and collapsed. Tons of bricks and debris fell onto a group of six firefighters. Rescue operations successfully extracted the six firefighters, but Flynn was already dead. Lynch was transported to Henrotin Hospital, where he died from a fractured skull.
Funeral services for Flynn were held at St. Mark’s Church on February 9. Lynch’s funeral occurred the same day, at St. William’s Church.
“Two Die in $500,000 Fire,” Chicago Daily Tribune, February 7, 1927.
“Missing Koellner Girl Surrendered by Nurse -- Two Firemen Killed as Wall Falls at $500,000 Blaze,” Chicago Daily Tribune, February 7, 1927.
“Rites Today for Firemen Killed by Falling Wall,” Chicago Daily Tribune, February 9, 1927.