Illinois Fire Service Institute


Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name Wesley Comfort
Agency Palatine Fire Department
Rank Firefighter
Type of Firefighter Volunteer
Age Range 21 to 25
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 10/5/1946
Cause of Death Vehicle collision
Nature of Death Trauma
Attribute of Death [not applicable]
Type of Duty Responding to/returning from incident

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Palatine
Incident State IL
Incident Date 10/1/1946
Incident Location Street/Road
Incident Attribute Traffic accidents

Incident Summary

On October 1, 1946, two volunteer firefighters from the Palatine Fire Department were fatally injured in the line of duty while responding to a fire when their fire truck collided with a Chicago and Northwestern Railroad passenger train.

The fire engine was destroyed in the collision, and the vehicle was dragged by the moving train for nearly 100 feet.

Firefighter Leonard Nebel died instantly, and was survived by his widow and five children.

Firefighter Wesley R. Comfort, Jr., son of the fire chief, was treated at Palatine Community Hospital, but died from his injuries on October 5.


“Volunteer Fire Truck Strikes Train; 1 Killed,” Chicago Daily Tribune, October 2, 1946.

Firefighter and Incident Images

No images exist for this Firefighter/Incident

Firefighter and Incident Audio

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