|Agency||Chicago Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||1/22/1927|
|Cause of Death||Fall|
|Nature of Death||Trauma|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Firefighting operations|
On January 22, 1927, Chicago Fire Department Firefighter John Quinlan of Engine 12 died in the line of duty while fighting a fire at the Hebard Storage Warehouse on South Winchester Avenue. Quinlan, who was also the driver for the Chief of Battalion 6, fell through the roof of the warehouse when the structure collapsed.
The fire started on the sixth floor of the warehouse, in an area that was allegedly “fireproof.” Engine 12 was the first unit to respond, and Quinlan was one of the first firefighters on the roof of the building. As the fire grew inside the building, the roof began to curve and buckle. Quinlan fell into the now sloping roof, and nearby firefighters suffered burns and smoke inhalation when they started a human chain in an effort to reach him, but the roof gave way and Quinlan fell into the burning building.
As the fire and rescue efforts intensified, a 4-11 alarm was sounded bringing firefighters and apparatus from all over the city. The fire was extinguished around midnight, and firefighters were able to recover Quinlan’s body. Twelve other firefighters were seriously injured while fighting the fire, and more than thirty firefighters were treated at area hospitals.
Funeral services for Quinlan were held at Our Lady of Sorrows Church on January 26, and he was buried at Calvary Cemetery. A widower, Quinlan was survived by his two sons, parents, and five siblings.
“Hebard Roof Falls in Blaze Near Hospitals,” Chicago Daily Tribune, January 23, 1927.
“One Killed, Many Injured in $100,000 Warehouse Blaze,” Chicago Daily Tribune, January 23, 1927.
Obituary of John J. Quinlan, Chicago Daily Tribune, January 25, 1927.