IFLODD: Firefighter Memorial

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name James McGovern
Agency Chicago Fire Insurance Patrol
Rank Firefighter
Type of Firefighter Fire Patrol
Age Range [Unknown]
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 3/15/1922
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 3/15/1922 1:0
Incident Location Store/Office
Incident Attribute Structural collapses , Explosions , Fires

Incident Summary

On March 15, 1922, James J. McGovern of the Chicago Fire Insurance Patrol died in the line of duty during a massive fire that destroyed the entire city block bordered by Jackson, Van Buren, Canal, and Clinton Streets. The fire started in the Austin Building on Canal Street and quickly spread to a number of adjacent buildings, including the Canal Street Station of the “L” train. Flames also crossed Clinton Street to the fourteen-story Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad Building, which burned from the roof downward. Eighty percent of the city’s firefighters responded to the fire, and more than 1,000 fire nozzles were used while battling the flames.

McGovern was killed as he crossed Van Buren Street while carrying wet blankets in support of firefighting operations. He was struck on the head by a piece of stone masonry and transported to Iroquois Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from a skull fracture.


“$10,000,000 Flames!” Chicago Daily Tribune, March 15, 1922.

“Fire Loss Fixed at $8,000,000; Seek Firebug,” Chicago Daily Tribune, March 16, 1922.

“The Men Who Saved Chicago,” Chicago Daily Tribune, March 16, 1922.

Firefighter and Incident Images

No images exist for this Firefighter/Incident

Firefighter and Incident Audio

No Audio for this Firefighter/Incident record