IFLODD: Firefighter Memorial

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name Dale Zimmerman
Agency Pecatonica Fire Protection District- Seward Unit
Rank Chief
Type of Firefighter Volunteer
Age Range 36 to 40
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 1/13/1996
Cause of Death Contact/Exposure
Nature of Death Asphyxiation
Attribute of Death [not applicable]
Type of Duty Hazardous materials response , SCBA operations , Search and rescue operations

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Seward
Incident State IL
Incident Date 1/13/1996
Incident Location Storage
Incident Attribute Fires , Hazardous materials incidents

Incident Summary

On January 13, 1996, Chief Dale Zimmerman of the Pecatonica Fire Protection District- Seward Unit died in the line of duty after he was overcome by carbon monoxide during a grain bin rescue.

A fire started in the 500,000-bushel corn bin in early December 1995, but the local water supply and fire extinguishing chemicals were both inadequate for extinguishing the flames. After the fire burned for several weeks, outside contractors were hired to evacuate the corn from the bin using huge vacuum hoses.

On January 13, Zimmerman and other firefighters responded to the grain bin after two contractors were overcome by fumes inside the bin. As the only entrance to the bin was at the top, Zimmerman climbed the bin’s exterior ladder and then descended into the bin using the interior ladder. Zimmerman helped rescue the trapped contractors, but he was soon overcome by carbon monoxide. He died shortly thereafter from asphyxiation.


Dirk Johnson, “Two-Month-Old Fire Besieges a Little Town,” New York Times, February 7, 1996.

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