|Agency||Chicago Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||1/12/1919|
|Cause of Death||Caught/Trapped , Contact/Exposure|
|Nature of Death||Asphyxiation|
|Attribute of Death||Drowning|
|Type of Duty||Firefighting operations , Hose operations|
On January 12, 1919, Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant Oscar W. Peterson of Engine 114 died in the line of duty while fighting a basement fire in a commercial building on Fullerton Avenue. The fire started when a furnace pipe overheated. Subsequently, the heat from the fire melted a water pipe and a gas main. Despite the rising water and the release of gas fumes, Peterson led four firefighters into the basement in an effort to extinguish the fire. The firefighters attempted to exit the basement once the water reached their shoulders, but they were disoriented by the gas fumes. Firefighters from Squad 2 were able to pull four of the firefighters out of the basement before they lost consciousness, but Peterson passed out and slipped under the water. Squad 2 moved quickly to rescue him, but he was dead by the time they recovered his body.
“Gas and Water Kill 1 Fireman; Injure 4 More,” Chicago Daily Tribune, January 13, 1919.