|Agency||Chicago Fire Department|
|Rank||Deputy Fire Marshal|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Age Range||56 to 60|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||5/8/1955|
|Cause of Death||Stress/Overexertion , Contact/Exposure|
|Nature of Death||Heart attack|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Firefighting operations|
Two Chicago Fire Department officers died in the line of duty following an April 28, 1955, arson fire at a hotel on N. Green Street. Captain Edward Duller of Engine 42, a member of the department for thirteen years, died when a stairway collapsed under him and six other firefighters during the 4-11 fire, and Second Deputy Fire Marshal James R. Hughes, a thirty-three year veteran, suffered a heart attack during the blaze and died ten days later.
Firefighters rescued more than fifty occupants from the hotel, but seven occupants were killed and more than twenty were injured. Two smaller fires had occurred at the same hotel during the preceding year, and investigators determined that the fatal fire had been deliberately started.
Both Duller and Hughes had been recognized for exceptional bravery during their careers, and Hughes, one of ten firefighters in his family, had received the Chicago Tribune “Hero Award” in 1953.
Memorial services were held for Duller at St. Stephen’s Church on May 2, 1955, and funeral mass was held for Hughes on May 11, 1955, at the Little Flower Church.
“5 Die, 10 Hurt In 2 Fires!” Chicago Daily Tribune, April 28, 1955.
“2 Fire Probes Open Today,” Chicago Daily Tribune, April 29, 1955.
“Fire Captain’s Widow Mourns Hero Husband,” Chicago Daily Tribune, April 29, 1955.
“Fire Officials Blame Hotel Blaze Fatal to 8 on Arson,” Chicago Daily Tribune, April 30, 1955.
“Fire Captain’s Widow Given Check for $500,” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 1, 1955.
“Fire Captain’s Funeral Rites Attended by 450,” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 3, 1955.
“James Hughes, High Ranking Fireman, Dies,” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 9, 1955.
“James Hughes Last Mass Set For Tomorrow,” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 10, 1955.