IFLODD: Firefighter Memorial

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name John Marnati
Agency Murphysboro Fire Department
Rank Captain
Type of Firefighter Career
Age Range 46 to 50
Sex Male
Date of Birth 11/5/1936
Date of Death 10/9/1983
Cause of Death Struck by vehicle
Nature of Death Trauma , Heart attack
Attribute of Death Duty disability
Type of Duty Post-incident

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Murphysboro
Incident State IL
Incident Date 1/15/1983 2:25
Incident Location Residential , Store/Office
Incident Attribute Arson , Fires

Incident Summary

On January 15, 1983, Captain John Marnati of the Murphysboro Fire Department was severely injured following an arson fire that destroyed most of a city block in downtown Murphysboro.

The fire was deliberately set in an apartment above a tavern, and the flames quickly spread to the adjacent buildings. Murphysboro firefighters responded to the fire at around 2:30AM, and over the next several hours more than 100 additional firefighters from twelve other fire departments responded with mutual aid assistance. Six buildings, containing both businesses and apartments, were destroyed in the fire, and one apartment resident died.

The fire was mostly extinguished by 7AM, but the ruins continued to smolder throughout the day. Shortly before 12:30PM, Marnati was working at the fire scene when he was struck by a dump truck that was removing bricks and other debris from the scene. Marnati was treated at Carbondale Memorial Hospital, but he was unable to return to duty following the accident, and he died from a heart attack on October 9 as a result of his injuries.

A member of the Murphysboro Fire Department since 1959, Marnati also owned a part-time business in which he sold, repaired, and refilled fire extinguishers. Marnati, who was nicknamed “Mouse” since childhood, is remembered as an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting and fishing, and the winners of the annual Firefighter’s Waterfight Competition at the Murphysboro Apple Festival receive a trophy named in his memory.

Firefighter and Incident Images

Firefighter and Incident Audio

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