Illinois Fire Service Institute


Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name John Slater
Agency Galesburg Fire Department
Rank Firefighter
Type of Firefighter [Unknown]
Age Range [Unknown]
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 4/10/1904
Cause of Death Struck by object
Nature of Death Trauma
Attribute of Death [not applicable]
Type of Duty Firefighting operations , Hose operations

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Galesburg
Incident State IL
Incident Date 4/10/1904 20:0
Incident Location Public assembly
Incident Attribute Structural collapses , Fires

Incident Summary

On April 10, 1904, Firefighter John Slater of the Galesburg Fire Department died in the line of duty while fighting a fire that destroyed Galesburg High School. Slater was killed when the east wall of the school collapsed as he and two other firefighters were aiming a hose into the third floor of the burning structure.

Slater had been off-duty when the fire alarm was received at 8PM, but was recalled along with all other off-duty firefighters to fight the fire, which caused more than $100,000 in damage. Although the school was a total loss, firefighters successfully contained the flames and protected nearby Knox College and a women’s seminary.


“Fire at Galesburg is Fatal,” Chicago Daily Tribune, April 11, 1904.

Firefighter and Incident Images

Firefighter and Incident Audio

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