|Agency||Chicago Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Age Range||46 to 50|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||12/13/1964|
|Cause of Death||Fall , Struck by object|
|Nature of Death||Trauma|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Firefighting operations|
On December 13, 1964, Chicago Fire Department Firefighter Joseph P. Carone of Truck 31, died in the line of duty following a structural collapse during a commercial fire in a six-story building on West Illinois Street.
The fire started on the fourth floor of the building, which was occupied by the United States Crayon Company. The fire spread to the upper floors of the building, where it was noticed after setting off a sprinkler system and a burglar alarm. Carone responded to the fire with Truck 31, and was operating with his company on the third floor when the fourth floor collapsed. Other members of Truck 31 escaped serious injury by grabbing building timbers and supports, but Carone was struck by debris and the collapse carried him through the lower floors all the way to the basement. Rescuers worked for more than one hour to find Carone in the rubble- and water-filled basement, but he was dead when they located his body. Carone was survived by his wife and five children, and more than 250 firefighters attended his funeral mass at St. Symphorosa Church on December 16.
On December 15, a teenaged arsonist, who had just been released from a reformatory, admitted to starting the fire. The following year, the arsonist was tried and found guilty of two charges of arson and one charge of murder, and was sentenced to more than fifty years in prison.
“Fireman Killed in Cave-In, 7 Others Hurt in Two Blazes North of Loop,” Chicago Tribune, December 14, 1964
“Grief-Filled Widow Tells of Mate, Never Spoke of Perils, Liked His Job,” Chicago Tribune, December 15, 1964.
“Admits He Set Fatal Blaze, Fireman Victim of Boy’s Urge,” Chicago Tribune, December 16, 1964.
“State to Take Firebug Case to Grand Jury, Consider Charge of Manslaughter,” Chicago Tribune, December 18, 1964.
“Report Jury Indicts Youth in Fire Death,” Chicago Tribune, December 24, 1964.
“Teen is Guilty of Murder in Fatal Blaze, Flames Near Loop Cost Life of Fireman,” Chicago Tribune, October 20, 1965.
“Firebug Gets Up to 30 Years as Murderer,” Chicago Tribune, October 30, 1965.