IFLODD: Firefighter Memorial

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name Henry Coyle
Agency Chicago Fire Department
Rank Pipeman
Type of Firefighter Career
Age Range [Unknown]
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 6/14/1879
Cause of Death Caught/Trapped
Nature of Death Asphyxiation
Attribute of Death Drowning
Type of Duty Responding to/returning from incident

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Chicago
Incident State IL
Incident Date 6/14/1879 0:26
Incident Location Street/Road , Water/Waterfront
Incident Attribute Traffic accidents

Incident Summary

On June 14, 1879, Chicago Fire Department Pipeman Henry T. Coyle of Engine 11 died in the line of duty while responding to a fire alarm near the intersection of LaSalle and Lake Streets.

Coyle and three other firefighters were riding in the Engine 11 hose cart as it raced south on State Street, and the hose cart was less than forty feet away from the State Street Bridge before the driver realized that the swing bridge was open. As the other two firefighters jumped clear, Coyle and the driver attempted to stop the horse, but they were pulled into the river along with the hose cart. The driver survived the fall, but Coyle drowned.

Funeral services for Coyle were held at St. Stephen’s Church on June 16, and he was buried at Calvary Cemetery.


“Terrible Accident,” Chicago Daily Tribune, June 14, 1879.

“Murder,” Chicago Daily Tribune, June 15, 1879.

“The Bridge Horror,” Chicago Daily Tribune, June 15, 1879.

“Coyle’s Funeral,” Chicago Daily Tribune, June 17, 1879.

Firefighter and Incident Images

Firefighter and Incident Audio

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