|Agency||Chicago Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Age Range||41 to 45|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||2/12/1962|
|Cause of Death||Stress/Overexertion|
|Nature of Death||Heart attack|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Firefighting operations|
On February 12, 1962, Chicago Fire Department Firefighter John Pierce of Engine 50 suffered a fatal heart attack in the line of duty after fighting a large extra alarm fire involving two buildings on Shields Avenue.
The fire started in a building leased by an exporting company, and spread to an adjacent building housing the Reliable Paste & Chemical Company. More than 65 pieces of fire apparatus and 450 firefighters responded to the alarm, and the fire apparatus and equipment had to be placed in close proximity to the fire due to the narrow width of Shields Avenue. The flames and smoke were so intense that firefighters had to spray water on the apparatus and equipment to prevent it from burning.
Following the fire, Pierce lost consciousness in Engine 50’s truck as the unit was returning to the firehouse. He was transported to Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“$250,000 Fire Near Sox Park Fought by 450, Fireman Dies Later; Doctor Injured,” Chicago Daily Tribune, February 13, 1962.