Illinois Fire Service Institute

 

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name Walter O'Connell
Agency Peoria Fire Department
Rank Firefighter
Type of Firefighter Career
Age Range 41 to 45
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/1893
Date of Death 11/1/1936
Cause of Death Fall
Nature of Death Trauma
Attribute of Death [not applicable]
Type of Duty Responding to/returning from incident

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Peoria
Incident State IL
Incident Date 10/27/1936 15:30
Incident Location Firehouse
Incident Attribute Firehouse accidents

Incident Summary

Hoseman Walter T. O’Connell, 43, was a 13-year veteran of the Peoria Fire Department. He resided at 511Windom Street and was survived by three sisters, Mrs. Hazel Wagler, Miss Cecile O’Connell and Mrs. Bessie Bail, and one brother, Edward.

At 3:30p.m., Tuesday, October 27, 1936, a fire alarm sounded at station 3. Fireman O’Connell rushed to the pole but misjudged the distance to the apparatus floor below and released his grip on the pole prematurely. The alarm proved to be false.

Although he suffered bruises on his face and head, and pain in his feet and legs, O’Connell’s injuries were not thought to be serious. However, a few days on November 1, 1936, Walter T. O’Connell died from acute inflammation of the brain.

On November 3, 1936, funeral ceremonies were conducted to honor Walter T. O’Connell. Fire Engine 3, draped in black, along with men from Fire Station 3, led the funeral procession, accompanying their friend on his “Last Alarm.”

Summary by Marty Baker and Doug Brignall, Peoria Fire Department


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