|Agency||Chicago Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Age Range||51 to 55|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||10/3/1942|
|Cause of Death||Struck by object|
|Nature of Death||Trauma|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Firefighting operations|
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.
“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.