Illinois Fire Service Institute


Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name William Mayer
Agency Chicago Fire Department
Rank Lieutenant
Type of Firefighter Career
Age Range 56 to 60
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 8/28/1905
Cause of Death Contact/Exposure
Nature of Death Asphyxiation
Attribute of Death Smoke inhalation
Type of Duty Firefighting operations , Search and rescue operations

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Chicago
Incident State IL
Incident Date 8/28/1905
Incident Location Storage
Incident Attribute Fires

Incident Summary

On August 28, 1905, Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant William M. Mayer of Engine 79 died in the line of duty while fighting a barn fire on North Clark Street. Engine 79 was the first fire company on the scene, and Mayer rushed into the burning barn after spectators mistakenly informed him that the barn foreman’s family was trapped in their residence on the third floor of the structure. Mayer was overcome by smoke while searching for the family, and his body was recovered by fellow firefighters several minutes after he entered the building.


“Fireman Killed at a Fire in Trying to Save Family,” Chicago Daily Tribune, August 29, 1905.

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