Illinois Fire Service Institute

 

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name Barney Weiler
Agency Aurora Fire Department
Rank Captain
Type of Firefighter Career
Age Range 61 to 70
Sex Male
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

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Aurora
Incident State IL
Incident Date 5/9/1929 0:52
Incident Location Store/Office
Incident Attribute Basement fires , Electrical hazards , Fires

Incident Summary

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.

Citations:

Aurora Beacon News, May 9, 1929.


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