|Agency||Reynolds Metal Company Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||Industrial|
|Age Range||51 to 55|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||11/9/1995|
|Cause of Death||Contact/Exposure|
|Nature of Death||Asphyxiation|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Search and rescue operations|
On November 9, 1995, Firefighter John Haviar of the Reynolds Metal Company Fire Department died in the line of duty after he was overcome by Argon gas during a rescue attempt.
Around 7:45AM, contract construction workers were laying the foundation for a new casting furnace at the Reynolds Metal Company plant in McCook, Illinois, when one of the contractors fell into an excavation pit. A second contractor climbed into the pit to help his colleague, but both were overcome by fumes inside the pit. In an attempt to rescue the trapped contractors, Haviar descended into the pit, but he, too, collapsed after he was overcome by Argon gas. All three men died from their injuries.
In addition to serving on the Reynolds Metal Company Fire Department for twenty-three years, Haviar had also been a volunteer member of the Midlothian Fire Department since 1968.
Lynn Van Matre, “Toxic fumes that killed 3 at plant under investigation,” Chicago Tribune, November 10, 1995.
Darlene Gavron Stevens and Lynn Van Matre, “Rescuer’s death puzzles friends,” Chicago Tribune, November 11, 1995.