IFLODD: Firefighter Memorial

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name Jimmy Cauthen
Agency Springfield Fire Department
Rank Firefighter
Type of Firefighter Career
Age Range 21 to 25
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 12/18/1969
Cause of Death Struck by object
Nature of Death Trauma
Attribute of Death [not applicable]
Type of Duty Firefighting operations , Ventilation operations

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Springfield
Incident State IL
Incident Date 12/18/1969 5:25
Incident Location Storage
Incident Attribute Structural collapses , Fires

Incident Summary

On December 18, 1969, Firefighter Jimmy E. Cauthen of the Springfield Fire Department died in the line of duty while fighting a fire at a furniture warehouse. Cauthen was fatally injured when the south wall of the warehouse collapsed during firefighting operations.

At 5:25AM, firefighters received an alarm for a fire at the G&E Furniture Company near the intersection of Ninth and Monroe Streets. More than sixty firefighters and nine apparatus responded to the fire. Shortly after 6AM, Cauthen and another firefighter were cutting through a steel door on the south side of the warehouse when the wall collapsed, burying Cauthen under bricks and other building materials. Cauthen was transported to St. John’s Hospital after firefighters pulled him from the debris, but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. Firefighters continued to battle the fire for several more hours, but the entire building was destroyed.

A member of the department for one year, Cauthen was survived by his widow and one son.


“Wall Falls, Fireman Killed,” Illinois State Register, December 18, 1969.

Obituary of Jimmy E. Cauthen,” Illinois State Register, December 18, 1969.

Firefighter and Incident Images

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Firefighter and Incident Audio

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