|Agency||Aurora Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Age Range||61 to 70|
|Date of Birth||9/0/1867|
|Date of Death||5/9/1929|
|Cause of Death||Contact/Exposure|
|Nature of Death||Asphyxiation|
|Attribute of Death||Smoke inhalation|
|Type of Duty||Firefighting operations|
On May 9, 1929, Captain Barney Weiler of the Aurora Fire Department was suffocated by smoke at a fire in the Old Orpheum Building on Main Street in Aurora. The fire was discovered shortly before midnight and four fire department companies responded to the blaze. Weiler, a 31-year veteran of the department, was leading firefighters from Company 4 in their firefighting efforts in the basement when he was overcome by smoke. Weiler climbed out of the basement on his own, but soon collapsed into the arms of two other firefighters. An inhalator was summoned, but they were unable to revive Weiler.
The cause of the fire was traced back to defective wiring between the basement and first floor of the building, and the damage was estimated at $2000. At the time, the Old Orpheum Building housed the King Joy Lo Chinese Restaurant, Block’s Toggery Shop, Bud’s Smoke Shop and Shoe Shinning Parlor, and the Universal Billiard Hall. Following Weiler’s death, the coroner’s jury recommended that gas masks be provided for every company in the Aurora Fire Department.
Aurora Beacon News, May 9, 1929.