IFLODD: Firefighter Memorial

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name Kenneth Wendt
Agency Rochelle Fire Department
Rank Firefighter
Type of Firefighter Volunteer
Age Range 36 to 40
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 12/27/1950
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 Rochelle
Incident State IL
Incident Date 12/27/1950 5:39
Incident Location Residential , Store/Office
Incident Attribute Basement fires , Structural collapses , Fires

Incident Summary

On December 27, 1950, Firefighter Kenneth Wendt of the Rochelle Fire Department died in the line of duty while fighting a fire in downtown Rochelle. The fire started in the basement of a commercial building, and Wendt was operating inside the basement when the building collapsed.

Firefighters from ten area fire departments responded to the fire, which burned for more than twelve hours in sub-freezing temperatures. Two commercial buildings that also contained five second-story apartments were destroyed in the fire, leaving fourteen residents homeless.

A deputy sheriff for Ogle County and a full-time driver for Railway Express Agency, Inc., Wendt had been a member of the Rochelle Fire Department for fifteen years. He was survived by his widow and two children.


“Fireman Killed; Two Rochelle Buildings Burn,” Chicago Daily Tribune, December 28, 1950.

Firefighter and Incident Images

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Firefighter and Incident Audio

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