|Agency||Chicago Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||4/11/1902|
|Cause of Death||Struck by object|
|Nature of Death||Trauma|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Firefighting operations|
On April 11, 1902, Chicago Fire Department Pipeman Patrick McCormick of Engine 19 died in the line of duty while fighting an apartment building fire on South Cottage Grove Avenue.
The Renfost apartment building was built as a luxury hotel for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, and the fire in the seven-story building started in the basement, after a worker left a small hand furnace running when he left the building for lunch. The building’s elevator boy discovered the fire shortly after noon, but the fire spread quickly due to the dry wood building materials inside the building and the forty mile per hour wind outside the building.
The building was fully involved when the first fire companies arrived on scene, and a 4-11 alarm was raised. McCormick was off duty, but responded to the alarm. He was operating outside of the building when an outer wall collapsed, and he was crushed to death by falling debris.
“Big Flats Burn; Fireman Killed,” Chicago Daily Tribune, April 12, 1902.