Illinois Fire Service Institute


Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name Jerry Tesar
Agency Chicago Fire Department
Rank Lieutenant
Type of Firefighter Career
Age Range 41 to 45
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 10/26/1927
Cause of Death Contact/Exposure
Nature of Death Electrocution
Attribute of Death [not applicable]
Type of Duty Aerial apparatus operations , Firefighting operations

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Chicago
Incident State IL
Incident Date 10/26/1927
Incident Location Store/Office
Incident Attribute Aerial apparatus accidents , Fires

Incident Summary

On October 26, 1927, Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant Jerry Tesar of Water Tower 1 died in the line of duty while fighting a 4-11 alarm fire in a commercial building on West Randolph Street. Tesar was operating the controls of the water tower to reposition it when the metal frame of the apparatus came into contact with a charged electrical trolley line. Electricity surged through the apparatus, electrocuting Tesar and throwing him from the vehicle. Efforts to revive Tesar were unsuccessful, and he died at a local hospital. Electricity continued to surge through the water tower apparatus until a firefighter with heavy gloves was able to turn the apparatus away from the live wire.


“$100,000 Fire Costs Life of Lieut. Tesar,” Chicago Daily Tribune, October 27, 1927.

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