Illinois Fire Service Institute


Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name John Donovan
Agency Chicago Fire Department
Rank Captain
Type of Firefighter Career
Age Range 56 to 60
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 10/10/1967
Cause of Death Stress/Overexertion
Nature of Death Heart attack
Attribute of Death [not applicable]
Type of Duty Post-incident , Search and rescue operations

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Chicago
Incident State IL
Incident Date 10/10/1967
Incident Location Residential
Incident Attribute Fires

Incident Summary

On October 10, 1967, Chicago Fire Department Captain John S. Donovan, the acting chief for Battalion 23, suffered a fatal heart attack in the line of duty. Donovan’s battalion responded to a fire in a three-story vacant building on Komensky Avenue, and one firefighter was overcome with smoke inhalation while battling the blaze. Instead of waiting for an ambulance, Donovan drove the firefighter to Mount Sinai Hospital in his own departmental vehicle. As he helped the injured firefighter into the hospital, Donovan collapsed from a heart attack, and doctors were unable to revive him.


“Capt. Donovan, 60, Dies After Fighting Blaze,” Chicago Tribune, October 11, 1967.

William Granger, “Fire Captain Dies While Aiding Friend,” Chicago Tribune, October 12, 1967.

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