|Agency||Chicago Fire Department|
|Type of Firefighter||Career|
|Date of Birth||0/0/0|
|Date of Death||4/13/1887|
|Cause of Death||Contact/Exposure|
|Nature of Death||Burns|
|Attribute of Death||Smoke inhalation|
|Type of Duty||Firefighting operations , Ventilation operations|
On April 13, 1887, Chicago Fire Department Truckman Michael Burns of Truck 9 died in the line of duty while fighting a commercial fire on North Wabash Avenue.
Firefighters arrived on scene shortly after 8AM, and Burns and another firefighter climbed the building’s standpipe to the fifth floor. The two firefighters entered the building through a window, to ventilate the fifth floor, but their entry point was almost immediately cut off by flames. While the other firefighter darted through the flames and escaped back out the window, Burns moved further into the building to try and exit via the stairwell.
After the flames at the window were extinguished, the second firefighter returned to the fifth floor, but he discovered that Burns had been overcome by smoke and suffocated to death. The fire progressed after Burns’ body was recovered, and the building was largely destroyed in the blaze.
“Yesterday’s Big Fire,” Chicago Daily Tribune, April 14, 1887.