IFLODD: Firefighter Memorial

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name Ignatz Geiss
Agency Chicago Fire Department
Rank Pipeman
Type of Firefighter Career
Age Range [Unknown]
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 6/7/1865
Cause of Death Struck by object
Nature of Death Trauma
Attribute of Death [not applicable]
Type of Duty Firefighting operations

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Chicago
Incident State IL
Incident Date 6/7/1865 21:0
Incident Location Storage
Incident Attribute Structural collapses , Fires

Incident Summary

On June 7, 1865, two Chicago Fire Department firefighters died in the line of duty while fighting a warehouse fire on South Water Street. Pipeman Ignatz Geiss of Engine 9 and Pipeman John Trainor of Engine 5 were killed in a structural collapse at the Zea & Zimmerman warehouse.

The warehouse was largely destroyed during the fire, but some interior and exterior walls were still standing as firefighters moved through the smoldering ruins several hours after a bulk of the flames had been extinguished. When one of the outer walls collapsed, eight firefighters, including Geiss and Trainor, were buried in the debris, and several others were injured. Firefighters moved quickly to rescue their trapped colleagues, but Geiss and Trainor died from their injuries.

Geiss was assigned to the steam fire engine “Frank Sherman,” and Trainor was assigned to the steam fire engine “U.P. Harris.”


“Destructive Fire,” Chicago Tribune, June 8, 1865.

“Dreadful Calamity,” Chicago Tribune, June 8, 1865.

“The Deceased Firemen,” Chicago Tribune, June 9, 1865.

Firefighter and Incident Images

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