Illinois Fire Service Institute

 

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name Thomas P. Fitzgerald
Agency Chicago Fire Department
Rank Firefighter
Type of Firefighter Career
Age Range 31 to 35
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 10/2/1942
Cause of Death Struck by object
Nature of Death Trauma
Attribute of Death [not applicable]
Type of Duty Firefighting operations

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Chicago
Incident State IL
Incident Date 10/2/1942
Incident Location Storage
Incident Attribute Structural collapses , Fires

Incident Summary

On October 2, 1942, an acetylene welding torch started a 5-11 alarm fire at the Acme Truck Rentals garage on S. Wells Street in Chicago, when a spark from the torch ignited a section of the garage’s wooden wall. Firefighters from the Chicago Fire Department were battling the flames when a wall collapsed on nine firefighters, burying them under tons of debris. Firefighter Thomas Fitzgerald of Truck Co. 14 died immediately, and Captain William Steed, acting chief of the 8th battalion, died from his injuries one day later at Mercy Hospital. More than $100,000 worth of equipment was lost in the fire, including truck tractors and tires that had been set aside to support United States efforts during World War II.

Citations:

“Fireman Dies, 7 Others Hurt by Falling Wall,” Chicago Daily Tribune, October 3, 1942.

“Battalion Fire Chief Dies; Is 2d Victim of Blaze,” Chicago Daily Tribune, October 4, 1942.


Firefighter and Incident Images

Firefighter and Incident Audio

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