|Agency||Chicago Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Age Range||31 to 35|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||7/20/1951|
|Cause of Death||Fall|
|Nature of Death||Trauma|
|Attribute of Death||[not applicable]|
|Type of Duty||Firefighting operations , Ventilation operations|
On July 20, 1951, Chicago Fire Department Firefighter Edwin F. Paulsen of Truck 18 was killed in a dust explosion while operating at a 4-11 alarm fire in a commercial building on S. Ashland Avenue. The fire started in a shoe store and rapidly spread to other stores in the same building. Firefighters were chopping ventilation holes in the roof of the building when the large dust explosion, “worse than dynamite,” erupted, hurling Paulsen and two other firefighters off the roof and into the street. Paulsen was killed instantly and the other two firefighter suffered serious injuries. Twelve other firefighters and more than twenty civilians also suffered minor injuries. Funeral services for Paulsen were held at St. Dorothy’s Church and he was interred at Mount Olivet cemetery.
“S. Side Blast and Fire Kill One; 35 Hurt,” Chicago Daily Tribune, July 21, 1951.
“Victim of Fire Leaves Widow, Five Children,” Chicago Daily Tribune, July 21, 1951.
“Mortgage Fund for Fire Hero’s Family Grows,” Chicago Daily Tribune, July 22, 1951.
“$1,629 is Raised for Family of Dead Fireman,” Chicago Daily Tribune, July 24, 1951.
“Firemen Honor Associate Lost Fighting Blaze,” Chicago Daily Tribune, July 25, 1951.