|Agency||Itasca Fire Protection District|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Age Range||26 to 30|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||8/2/1979|
|Cause of Death||Contact/Exposure|
|Nature of Death||Burns|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Firefighting operations , Training duties|
On July 22, 1979, Firefighter Robert Bobka of the Itasca Fire Protection District was fatally injured in the line of duty during a training exercise.
As training officer, Bobka was leading a live fire training exercise for twenty-five firefighters at a vacant house. As firefighters were extinguishing the fire set inside the house, an exterior home heating oil storage tank adjacent to the house started shooting sparks. As Bobka and another firefighter moved toward the tank to douse it with water, the tank exploded.
Bobka and the other firefighter, both severely burned in the explosion, were transported to Alexian Brothers Hospital and then transferred to the burn unit at Cook County Hospital, where Bobka succumbed to his injuries on August 2.
Funeral services for Bobka were held at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Addison on August 6.
“Oil tank explodes during drill, two suburb firemen are injured,” Chicago Tribune, July 23, 1979.
“Blood needed for 2 Itasca firemen,” Chicago Tribune, July 28, 1979.
Obituary of Robert Bobka, Chicago Tribune, August 4, 1979.
“Scars recall her fight to save brother,” Chicago Tribune, September 17, 1979.