"THE SUPREME SACRIFICE"
By Hank Przybylowicz

December 22


On this date in history, the following members of the fire service made
"The Supreme Sacrifice:"

1846 - BUFFALO, NY
Vol. F/F Henry B. Bishop - Engine 2
He was caught in a fire as he slept in his father's store. Being unable
to escape, he burned to death.

1892 - INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Capt. William R. McGinnis - Age 40 - Hose 8 - 14-year veteran
He was the 13th and last firefighter to die as a result of injuries
sustained in the building collapse at the bookstore fire of March 17th,
1890. He never fully recovered from his injuries.

1910 - CHICAGO, IL
Fire Chief James Horan - Age 51 - 19-year veteran
2nd Asst. Chief William Burroughs - Age 47 - 15-year veteran
Capt. Dennis Doyle - Age 46 - Engine 39 - 14-year veteran
Capt. Alexander Lannon - Age 40 - Engine 50 - 17-year veteran
Capt. Patrick Collins - Age 47 - Engine 59 - 17-year veteran
Lt. James Fitzgerald - Age 33 - Engine 23 - 5-year veteran
Lt. Edward Danis - Age 46 - Engine 61 - 15-year veteran
Lt. William Sturm - Age 46 - Engine 64 - 13-year veteran
Lt. Herman Brandenberg - Age 41 - Truck 11 - 18-year veteran
F/F George Enthof - Age 31 - Engine 23 - 4-year veteran
F/F Thomas Costello - Age 34 - Engine 29 - 5-year veteran
F/F George Murawski - Age 37 - Engine 49
F/F Frank Walters - Age 46 - Engine 59 - 17-year veteran
F/F William Weber - Age 34 - Engine 59 - 5-year veteran
F/F Albert J. Moriarty - Age 34 - Truck 11 - 8-year veteran
F/F Peter Powers - Age 34 - Truck 11 - 8-year veteran
F/F Michael McInerney - Age 32 - Truck 11 - 6-year veteran
F/F Nicholas Doyle - Age 25 - Truck 11 - 3-year veteran
F/F Edward Schonsett - Age 27 - Truck 11 - 3-year veteran
F/F Nicholas Crane - Age 34 - Truck 18 - 11-year veteran
F/F Charles Moore - Age 29 - Truck 18 - 6-year veteran
While operating at a four-alarm fire involving a six-story brick
meatpacking warehouse, they were killed when an entire wall collapsed
onto a covered platform where more than a score of firefighters were
operating. They were buried under tons of burning rubble. As the fire
extended to other warehouses, six additional alarms were struck to aid
in the firefighting and rescue efforts. Throughout the day and into the
next night, the bodies of the fallen firefighters were found and removed
to waiting ambulances. A total of 21 men made the Supreme Sacrifice that
morning. Not only was this fire the most tragic in the history of the
Chicago FD, it was the most firefighters ever lost at one time in the
history of the professional fire service. The last body recovered was
that of Capt. Doyle, of Engine 39. His son, F/F Nicholas Doyle, of Truck
11, was also killed in the collapse. The entire company of Truck 11 was
killed in the collapse. So that he could be home with his family on
Christmas Day, Lt. Brandenberg, of Truck 11, traded his days off with
another man. Lt. Fitzgerald, of Engine 23, was to be married Christmas
Eve. F/F Schonsett, of Truck 11, died on his birthday and his third
wedding anniversary was on Christmas Eve. F/F Weber, of Engine 59, had
just moved his family into their new home a few days earlier.

1910 - PHILADELPHIA, PA
Capt. Gustave Wittig - Engine 15
Lt. Thomas Entwistle - Engine 21
Lt. John Kalberer - Engine 23
F/F Robert Stewart - Engine 2
F/F Charles Edelman - Engine 6
F/F William McConnell - Engine 23
F/F Samuel W. Park - Ladder A
F/F John F. Carroll - Ladder G
F/F William Bihlmire - Ladder I
F/F John Collins - Ladder 4
F/F George Matchinsky - Ladder 7
F/F Hary Bartolet - Chemical 2
F/F Thomas M. Pass - Chemical 2
While operating at a two-alarm fire in a five-story leather factory for
close to three hours, a collapse occurred, trapping several men under
tons of rubble. Immediate rescue efforts were launched to remove the
fallen men. Two hours into the rescue operation, a secondary collapse
occurred, trapping even more men than in the first collapse. A total of
13 firefighters and one police officer were killed, and 51 other
firefighters were injured in the collapses.

1912 - BOSTON, MA
Batt. Chief Robert A. Ritchie - Battalion 13
He died in the performance of his duties.

1917 - ATLANTA, GA
F/F Charles C. Winter - Age 39 - Engine 4 - 4-year veteran
He died as a result of complications that arose from injuries sustained
February 19th, when he struck his head at a multiple-alarm hay and grain
warehouse fire.

1925 - BALTIMORE, MD
Capt. Harry Jones - Age 51 - Water Tower 2 - 16-year veteran
After bringing a fire in a tall grain elevator silo under control,
several members entered the silo to complete the extinguishment. Without
warning, the top wall gave way and showered the men with debris. Four
men, including Jones, were caught under the collapsing concrete. Jones
had been serving as the chief engineer's aide. The other three men were
dug out and eventually recovered

1952 - CHICAGO, IL
F/F Patrick Rochford - Engine 82
He suffered a fatal heart attack in quarters while on duty.

1959 - REVERE BEACH, MA
F/F Melvin Caissie - Engine 1
He died while operating at a spectacular general-alarm fire that
destroyed a large 3-1/2-story frame ballroom.

1960 - CHICAGO, IL
Batt. Chief Michael Lynch - Battalion 10
He was killed when he fell down a pole hole in quarters while responding
to an alarm.

1963 - BROOKLYN, NY
F/F James J. Johnston II - Engine 310 - 4-year veteran
He died of smoke inhalation while operating at a single-alarm fire.

1989 - CHICAGO, IL
F/F Kelvin Anderson - Age 27 - Engine 107 - 1-year veteran
He was killed while searching for possible trapped occupants during a
three-alarm fire in a church. He apparently became disoriented and got
lost during the search. When firefighters discovered he was missing,
search teams entered the church several times to find him, only to be
pushed back each time by heavy fire and smoke conditions. The building
became fully involved and the roof eventually collapsed. It took
firefighters over 16 hours to recover his body.

"Lay me down beside cool waters,
And lay to rest my body sore.
Send the word out to my brothers,
The fire is down, let it burn no more."
Charlie Ball
Fireman's Prayer


Let us not forget these brave souls who unselfishly gave their lives in
the performance of their duties. Let us all take a moment out of our
busy day to say a prayer for these fallen soldiers of the Lord, and ask
that He grant them eternal rest and peace in His Kingdom. Also ask that
He watch over and protect the member's loved ones who were left behind.


The Supreme Sacrifice© is a product of the Line of Duty Research
Service. This product may not be used in any form for commercial venture
or for monetary gain without the expressed written permission of the
Line of Duty Research Service. Copyright(c) 1998. All rights reserved.

[This message has been edited by ChiefHank (edited 12-26-98).]