Illinois Fire Service Institute


Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name Thomas Brown
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 11/7/1959
Cause of Death Fall
Nature of Death Trauma
Attribute of Death [not applicable]
Type of Duty Firefighting operations , Ladder operations

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Chicago
Incident State IL
Incident Date 11/7/1959
Incident Location Residential
Incident Attribute Explosions , Fires

Incident Summary

On November 7, 1959, Chicago Fire Department Captain Thomas P. Brown of Engine 36 died in the line of duty while fighting an apartment building fire on Jackson Boulevard. The burning building exploded while Brown was trying to reach the roof on a ladder, and he fell to his death.

The fire started on the third floor of the four-story building and was spreading to the fourth floor when the explosion occurred, showering debris onto Brown and two other firefighters. Brown was taken to Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital, where he died.

Brown had been a member of the department for 28 years, and he was substituting for a vacationing battalion chief on the day of his death.

Funeral mass for Brown was held at St. Maurice Catholic Church on November 11, and he was survived by his widow, two daughters, and a son.


“Fireman Killed, 3 Hurt at West Side Blaze,” Chicago Daily Tribune, November 8, 1959.

Obituary of Capt. Thomas P. Brown, Chicago Daily Tribune, November 9, 1959.

Firefighter and Incident Images

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