Denver Fire Memorial
Denver Fire Department Memorial
Additional Information provided by Denver Fire Department Assistant Chief Gregory Taft, Retired
*Line Of Duty Death (LODD)
**Aaron Shallcross (Volunteer Firefighter): On February 23rd, 1875, Aaron Shallcross collapsed and died after a fire at the Planters Hotel. Aaron was the first Denver volunteer firefighter to die in the line of duty, his name is not listed on state firefighter’s memorial.
**Alfred Gardiner (Volunteer Firefighter): On March 19th, 1877, Alfred Gardiner died by a falling wall, and his name is not listed on state firefighter’s memorial.
**Benjamin Barret (Volunteer Firefighter): On March 18th, 1878, Benjamin Barret was killed at a fire at the Eastbrook Stables, and his name is not listed on state firefighter’s memorial.
*James Lloyd (Firefighter): On September 24th, 1886, James Lloyd was exercising the two horses belonging to the Chemical Engine quartered at 536 Curtis St. While riding the large black horse known as “Jumbo” near the corner of 21st St. and Arapahoe, Jumbo began to run. Lloyd attempted to check the horse when the bit broke and Jumbo turned suddenly. Lloyd was thrown from the horse and suffered severe head injuries. He was taken to the fire house where doctors were summoned. His injuries were so severe, that in the doctors’ opinions, he could not survive. Lloyd was taken to his residence by patrol wagon, and he succumbed to his injuries on September 26th, 1886. Firefighter James Lloyd, age 39 became the 1st Denver firefighter to die in the line of duty.
*Horace Knight (Pipeman): On October 11th, 1891, at 04:30, Box 124 rang out for a reported fire at Zang’s Brewery at 3rd St. & Ruby St. Pipeman Horace Knight of Steamer 5 brought the heavy steamer out of quarters and the three horses were at full gallop. As they crossed the tracks at 19th & Bassett, the steamer jolted violently. Knight was thrown from his seat. As the steamer careened wildly down the street, one of the firemen on the tailboard looked around the large boiler only to find the driver’s seat empty. One of them was able to climb over the boiler and bring the horses to a stop. The men then retraced their route, finding Knight lying in the street near the tracks where the steamer had jolted so violently. Knight had been killed instantly in the fall. Pipeman Horace Knight, age 21, was appointed to the department on May 28th, 1891. The City of Denver obtained a plot ground at Fairmount Cemetery to be used for Denver Firefighters who died in the performance of their duty. Horace Knight was the first to be buried there.
*Frederick Pierrepont (Firefighter): On March 24th, 1893 Firefighter Fred Pierrepont, age 29 of Hook & Ladder # 2, with Firefighter Frank Mahoney of Hook & Ladder # 4, were both killed from the injuries they sustained after a wall had collapsed on them at the Summit Grain Co. (Fuel and Feed Company) fire.
*Frank Mahoney (Firefighter): On March 24th, 1893 Firefighter Mahoney, age 35 Hose # 2, with Firefighter Fred Pierrepont of Hose Company # 2, were both killed from the injuries they sustained after a wall had collapsed on them at the Summit Grain Co. (Fuel and Feed Company) fire.
*Harold Hartwell (Captain): The St. James Hotel, on the 1500 block of Curtis, was filled to capacity with 163 guests. At approximately 22:30 on March 23rd, 1895, smoke was seen coming from between the flooring on the first floor. The fire alarm box on the corner was activated. When firefighters arrived, the smoke conditions were quickly escalating. Chief Roberts, seeing the potential for large loss of life, immediately called for a General Alarm to bring all available companies to the scene. As firefighters safely evacuated the hotel and stretched hose lines, the smoke was intense. Fire crews operated numerous hose lines. However, the smoke conditions hindered their advancement on the fire. The four members of Hose Company 3 were sent into the first floor rotunda in an attempt to find the seat of the fire. Suddenly, a 30-foot diameter section of the rotunda collapsed into the blazing inferno occupying the basement. Flames leaped out of the hole, and firefighters scrambled to safety. Regrouping, crews discovered that all four members of Hose Co. 3 were missing. It became apparent that they had plunged into the fiery confines of the basement. The crew members of Hose Co. 3 were recovered several hours later. The cause of the fire was attributed to improperly insulated electrical wires in the basement. Captain Harold Hartwell, age 37, he became one of the four firefighters that died that night.
*Fred Brawley (Lieutenant): Fred Brawley, age 30 was also part of the four firefighters that were killed on March 23rd, 1895 at the St. James Hotel, on the 1500 block of Curtis.
*Steve Martin (Firefighter): Steve Martin, age 28, was also part of the four firefighters that were killed on March 23rd, 1895 at the St. James Hotel.
*Richard Dandridge (Firefighter): Richard Dandridge, age 25. was also part of the four firefighters that were killed on March 23rd, 1895 at the St. James Hotel.
*Lee E. Bottom (Firefighter): On October 15th, 1897 at 04:04, having just returned from a fire, the bells rang out an alarm of a fire at 18th St. & Platte River. Both fires were deemed to be incendiary in origin. A Union Pacific freight car filled with hay was on fire. Hose Wagon and Steamer 7 responded from their quarters at W. 32nd and Erie St. As Steamer 7 thundered down 18th St. with Fireman Lee Bottom at the reins, the streamer struck a rut, then lurched to the left. Bottom was pitched forward between the horses onto the double-tree of the rig. As the horses raced wildly down the street, Bottom lost his hold and was thrown beneath the heavy wheels. While one firefighter on the tail board jump off to help Bottom, the other rode on, tightly gripping the brass hand bar. The steamer overturned at 18th and Platte, and the horses broke free from the disabled steamer. The horses were eventually caught at 16th and Market St. Firefighter Bottom was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he died from his injuries. Firefighter Lee E. Bottom, age 23, appointed to the department in February 1896.
*Harry Robinson (Firefighter): Firefighter Harry Robinson, age 42, of Hose Company 2, succumbed to injuries sustained while operating at the Western Chemical Company fire on June 18th, 1899, at S. 7th and Bayaud. The fire started just before 18:00, billowing thick brown smoke from a store room. The store room contained about 50 carboys of muriatic acid, two of which had already exploded. Assistant Chief John Dulmage stated, “We went into the room with a hose from the chemical tank of Truck 3 and soon had the fire out.” Robinson, Chief Dulmage, and Firefighters McClellan, Goodman, and Ritchie of Hose Company 7 were taken ill by the muriatic acid fumes. Doctors treated Robinson with injections of nitro-glycerin and whisky as well as oxygen. Robinson died as a result of exposure to the fumes and pneumonia on July 20th, 1899 . Robinson was the driver for Chief Dulmage and was appointed to the department in 1889. Note: The same building sustained another fire on July 1st, 1899; this fire resulted in no injuries.
*Charles W. Dolloff (Lieutenant): Firefighters were dispatched to the Denver Post Printing & Publishing Co. located at 1623 Curtis St. on September 21st, 1904 including Lt. Charles W. Dolloff, age 28, of Engine Co. 4. An employee had used a hammer on a Plaster of Paris cork to open a glass car boy containing nitric acid. The car boy shattered, spilling the acid throughout the etching room. Employees then attempted to cover the spill with saw dust, which then caught fire. Upon the firefighters’ arrival, dense smoke was coming from the etching room. After extinguishing the blaze and cleaning up the spill, the firefighters staggered outside. They thought a breath of fresh air was all they needed. The firefighters returned to their quarters. Throughout the early evening hours, the coughing grew worse and their chest pains increased. One by one, the firefighters went home and later to the hospital. In all, 18 firefighters were hospitalized that evening from the effects of nitric acid inhalation. Lt. Charles W. Dolloff, age 28, was the first to succumb on September 21st, 1904.
*John McGlade (Firefighter): John “Handsome Jack” McGlade of Hook & Ladder 2 was also dispatched to the Denver Post Printing & Publishing Co. located at 1623 Curtis St. on September 21st, 1904, with the nitric acid spill and fire. After extinguishing the blaze and cleaning up the spill, the firefighters staggered outside. They thought a breath of fresh air was all they needed. The firefighters returned to their quarters. Throughout the early evening hours, the coughing grew worse and their chest pains increased. One by one, the firefighters went home and later to the hospital. In all, 18 firefighters were hospitalized that evening from the effects of nitric acid inhalation. Firefighter John McGlade, age 35, was the second firefighter to pass away from this incident. The bodies of Lt. Charles W. Dolloff and FF McGlade were taken to City Hall to lie in state. There they were viewed by thousands until their funerals.
*Frank P. Lunt (Ladderman): Charles of Hook & Ladder # 2 became the third Denver firefighter to die as a result of the nitric acid spill and fire at The Denver Post etching room on September 20th, 1904. Lunt was one of the first on the scene, and he and McGlade (the second to die) entered the room with an extinguisher in an attempt to control the blaze. Firefighter Lunt was appointed in 1897 and was regarded as one of the most fearless and competent firefighters. Lunt left behind a wife and a 9-year-old son. Under civil service pension, his wife would receive 30 percent and his son six percent of his $85.00 monthly salary. Lunt died on October 12th, 1904.
*Charles E. Eymann (Captain): Captain Charles Eymann of Hook & Ladder 1, became the fourth Denver Fireman to die as a result of the nitric acid spill and fire at The Denver Post etching room on September 20th, 1904. A fellow Captain visited Eymann at the hospital and jokingly told him, “Smoke up, Cap – your pipe’s about out,” referring to the tube through which Eymann was breathing oxygen. Eymann was one of the organizers of the Tabor Volunteer Hose Co. and later with the “Joe” Bates Volunteer Co. When Denver became a paid fire department, he was one of the original members. He was described as more than six feet tall, with an enormous frame, and muscles like steel cables. Captain Charles E. Eymann died on October 21st, 1904.
*Robert Geddes (Lieutenant): On the evening of March 1st, 1908, Box 41 rang out from Stanton St. and McNasser St., calling for Wagon 6 and Hook & Ladder 1, quartered at 14th and Market Streets. As the four steel-grey horses brought the 85-foot aerial of H & L 1 through the intersection of 15th and Market Street, a violent collision occurred. Colfax Tramway Car 88 was speeding to the intersection at 20 miles per hour. Car 88 struck Hook & Ladder 1 just behind the turntable. Seven firefighters were hurled from the wreckage. Many suffered serious injuries, Lieutenant Robert Geddes, riding the left side running board, was the most seriously injured. He was transported to Saint Joseph’s Hospital, where he would succumb to his injuries in the early morning hours of March 2. The nearly new Hook & Ladder 1, which cost $6,500, was completely destroyed. None of the four horses suffered serious injuries. The motorman of Car 88 was immediately arrested for “wanton carelessness” in not yielding to Hook & Ladder 1. Lt. Robert Geddes, age 32, was born in Scotland and became a member of the Denver Fire Department on August 19, 1897. Lieutenant Geddes was promoted on January 1, 1907. Married and the father of five children.
*Daniel Vincent Davidson (Captain): On September 19th, 1910 the Hose Wagon of Engine Company 6 was dispatched to an alarm of a fire at Chris Irving Plumbing and Heating located at 1525 Larimer St. As the wagon was turning from Market Street to 15th St., the wheels caught the street car tracks and sent the wagon overturning. Captain Davidson and three others were thrown into the street. Captain Daniel Vincent Davidson was seriously injured and transported to the hospital, where he passed away the next morning on September 20th, 1910. The newspaper reported, “numerous deeds of daring and bravery mark his record in the department.” Captain Daniel Vincent Davidson was 35 years old and the brother of Assistant Chief Robert Davidson. He was appointed to the department in November 1900 and made Captain in 1907.
**Daniel P. Ford (Pipeman): Passed away on February 6th, 1912 from an on duty illness. After fighting a stubborn house fire several days before his regular day off. He had contracted pneumonia while on duty and finished his next two 24-hour shifts without medical attention, and passed away at his home. Ford was appointed pipeman on February 27th, 1090 and worked on Hose Company # 4. He was the second most senior fireman on DFD. Ford survived by his wife and five daughters. He had planned on retiring on April 1st, 1912.
*Harry Cox (Firefighter): Denver Firefighter Harry Cox, age 47, and was a pipeman assigned to Engine Company 4 at 2026 Curtis St. On July 30th, 1916, firefighters were dispatched to a fire on the 1500 block of Lincoln St. As Engine 4 was backing up on Broadway, it was struck by a sightseeing car. The collision pinned Cox between the two vehicles, resulting in crushing injuries to his leg. In an attempt to save his life, surgeons amputated his leg. Unfortunately, Firefighter Cox succumbed to extreme blood loss and shock on August 2nd, 1916. Born in Wales in 1869, Cox was appointed to the department July 1st, 1900.
*Thomas M. Hyder (Firefighter): On August 22nd, 1928, Engine 21 was dispatched to a fire in the rear of T. O. Condon Grocery at 301 S. Logan St. As the engine approached the intersection of E. Virginia and S. Clarkson, a coal truck turned onto Virginia Ave. The two trucks collided and overturned. Thomas Hyder, age 29 and the driver of Engine 21, was killed instantly. The other three firefighters were thrown clear of the wreckage and sustained moderate to serious injuries. The driver of the coal truck had minor injuries and stated he didn’t see or hear the fire truck until he was in the intersection.
*William H. Barber (Firefighter): On October 12th, 1928 at 14:10, a report of a fire at 4530 W. 46th Ave. was received and companies were dispatched. Tragedy stuck in the intersection of W. 44th Ave. & Federal Blvd. as Truck 12 and Engine 7 collided. Firefighters were hurled in all directions, resulting in the death of three and the injuring of five. The Lieutenant of Truck 12 was the only one not transported to the hospital. Firefighter William H. Barber was killed in the accident and and Richard R. Schwairy of Engine 7 and Silas E. Briggs of Truck 12. Unfortunately, the cause of the alarm was a 10-cent comb that ignited when it was dropped down a hot-air furnace pipe.
*Richard R. Schwairy (Firefighter): Richard Schwairy was also part of the accident at W. 44th Ave. & Federal Blvd. when Truck 12 and Engine 7 collided, Schwairy was part of Engine 7.
*Silas E. Briggs (Firefighter): In 1928, Silas Briggs was killed in the line of duty in the collision of Engine 7 and Truck 12. Briggs of Truck 12. Silas Briggs’ son, William Briggs, would also die in the line of duty in 1944 when Truck 6 collided with a large box truck.
*Elmore C. Palmer (Firefighter): Elmore Palmer of Truck Co. 8 died of the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning on September 17th, 1931. E.C. Palmer was 34 years-old and became the 22nd firefighter to die in the line of duty.
*James J. Moses (Deputy Chief): At 22:36 on June 13th, 1932, a fire alarm was transmitted from the 800 block of Broadway. Deputy Chief James Moses responded to direct the operations. After firefighters extinguished the fire, Chief Moses returned to his residence. His wife helped him with an arm injury he sustained at the fire. Suddenly, at 01:36 on June 14th, 1932, Chief Moses toppled from an apparent heart attack. In his fall, he knocked over his direct phone line to dispatch, automatically notifying dispatchers, who heard Mrs. Moses’ screams. Dispatchers immediately sent crews to the residence. Efforts to revive Chief Moses were futile. At the time of his death, Deputy Chief Moses was Acting Chief of the Department in Chief Healy’s absence. Educated in Buffalo, NY as a pharmacist, young Moses came to Denver in 1893 and opened a drug store at 15th & Cheyenne Place. Seeing the firefighters and the dashing horse-drawn apparatus almost daily, his quiet life as a pharmacist lost its appeal. He was appointed to the Denver Fire Department on January 2nd, 1895 and sold the drug store. Moses was promoted to lieutenant in November 1895, to captain in August 1897, to assistant chief in May 1903, and held the rank of Deputy Chief for 20 years. Deputy Chief James J. Chief Moses left behind his wife and two children.
*Curtis A. Dendinger (Lieutenant): On June 14th, 1934, Lieutenant Dendinger of Engine Company 16 had just returned to the station from a structure fire when he became ill. Lt. Dendinger was taken to his home, where his condition continued to worsen. A physician was called and treated the lieutenant with oxygen for smoke inhalation. Lieutenant Dendinger continued to deteriorate and developed pneumonia. Lieutenant Dendinger died in the early morning hours of June 21st, 1934. Born in Oakland City, Indiana, he came to Denver as a young man. He was appointed to the department on May 1, 1913 and promoted to Lieutenant on August 1st, 1925. He left behind a wife and five children ranging in age from 8 to 24.
*Colin C. Taylor (Firefighter): On June 20th, 1934, an alarm of a fire was transmitted for 421 Williams St. While fighting the fire, Firefighter Colin Taylor, age 39 of Engine Company 16 collapsed from smoke inhalation and was revived at the scene by fellow firefighters. He was taken to his home where his condition worsened. He was later taken to St. Luke’s Hospital. His condition became critical after developing pneumonia. Firefighter Taylor died on June 28th, 1934. He was the second Engine Company 16 firefighter who died from the effects of smoke inhalation in unrelated fires during an eight-day period. Firefighter Taylor was appointed to the Denver Fire Department in March 1923. He left behind a wife and 4-year-old son.
*Andrew J. Mahon (Assistant Chief): On November 30th, 1934, Andrew Mahon was fatally injured in wall collapse in a warehouse fire at the Midwest Trunk & Bag Manufacturing Co. at 1524 15th St. Mahon was 47 years-old.
*John H. Reisbeck (Firefighter): On the evening of March 19th, 1936, the household of Firefighter John Reisbeck was abuzz with activity. His wife, Ann Marie, was planning a surprise birthday party for Reisbeck when he got off duty in the morning. The party would not happen; instead, they would be making funeral arrangements. Reisbeck was working alongside his brother-in-law on Engine 10 when the fire alarm box at 51st & Washington was activated. As Engine 10 entered the intersection of 46th & Washington, a violent collision occurred between the engine and a large meat truck. Firefighters were hurled in all directions. Three firefighters were seriously injured, including Reisbeck. Firefighter Reisbeck died at Denver General Hospital at 04:30 on his 43rd birthday on March 20th, 1936. Born in York, Nebraska, he joined the Denver Fire Department in 1924. He left behind his wife and 14-year-old daughter, Matilda. The alarm they were responding to turned out to be a malicious false alarm.
*William L. Feely (Firefighter): Engine Company 12 firefighter William Feely became ill while on duty at Station 12 on March 17th, 1936, and died as a result of pneumonia on March 20th, 1936.
*Edward Carlson (Firefighter): On September 28th, 1936, the worst September snowstorm in the city’s history dumped 26 inches of snow in 36 hours. Fire Chief Healy ordered all off-duty firefighters, as well as reserves, to report to their stations. Firefighter Edward Carlson of Station 9, located at 1672 E. 47th Ave. was shoveling a path for the children of a nearby school. It was his custom to also place a stop sign in the street in front of the firehouse so the children could safely cross the street. As he was finishing up his shoveling, a driver towing a trailer lost control on the snowy street. The rear of the trailer struck Carlson, throwing him against an oncoming tramway car. Firefighter Edward Carlson, age 54, was killed instantly.
*Henry Miller (Firefighter): On July 10th, 1938, Engine 9 was dispatched to a reported weed fire at E. 52nd Ave. & Brighton Blvd. As Firefighter Henry Miller, age 55, was crossing the street toward the fire with an extinguisher, he was struck by a hit and run driver. Miller was taken to the hospital, where he remained for weeks. In the early morning hours of November 25, Firefighter Miller passed away at his home from complications of the injuries he received in the accident. He was appointed to the Denver Fire Department on August 10th, 1910.
*George W. Brooks (Captain): On July 17th, 1938, just before 19:00 fire erupted at Elitch Gardens. The fire was burning near and advancing on the park dance pavilion. Upon arrival, Chief of Department John Healy immediately transmitted a 2nd Alarm. Truck 4 was responding to the 2nd Alarm, while Engine 3 was relocating to Station 5, and tragedy struck. Engine 3 collided with Truck 4 in the intersection of 20th & Larimer. Captain John Horan of Truck 4, dazed, tumbled from the top of a car where he was thrown and staggered into a corner drugstore. He called Headquarters and said, “Send everything you got – all the ambulances you can muster.” This tragic accident claimed the life of Engine Company 3 Captain George W. Brooks, age 48, and Firefighter James E. Simpson, age 45. Eight other firefighters and one civilian were injured. The firefighters injured were Firefighter Carl De Prad, Firefighter Sydney Frelow, and Firefighter James Harrison of Engine Company 3 and Captain John Horan, Firefighter J. H. Harner, Firefighter Joe Tulet, Firefighter Harry Kelly, and Firefighter Richard Parks of Truck 4. Their injuries ranged from minor to critical. The civilian whose vehicle was caught up in the collision sustained critical injuries. Manager of Safety William F Guthner directed an investigation. At the hearing, “New Orders will be issued to all drivers relative to Guthner’s oft-given rules concerning Safe Driving.”
*James E. Simpson (Firefighter): On July 17th, 1938, just before 19:00 when a fire erupted at Elitch Gardens, as Truck 4 was responding the the fire, they collided with Engine 3 collided in the intersection of 20th & Larimer. The tragic accident also claimed the live of Engine Company 3 members Captain George W. Brooks, age 48 and eight other firefighters and one civilian were injured.
*Ralph Johnston (Captain): On October 9th, 1938, Captain Ralph Johnston of Truck 8, located at 1615 Marion St, was stricken with a heart attack while on duty at the firehouse. Captain Johnston was rushed to the hospital. On October 15th, 1944, he succumbed to a second heart attack.
Elmer Hair (Captain): Suffered a heart attack while on duty at Station 19 on December 28th, 1940, and later died at his home. He was the driver for Engine Company No. 19.
*Stephen Keating (Assistant Chief): assistant Chief Stephen Keating, age 71, passed away after a short illness on September 2nd, 1941. Chief Keating was assigned to the East District based out of Station 10 at 3201 Curtis St. Physicians attributed his death to a recurrence of problems associated with serious injuries sustained in the line of duty occurring two and 10 years prior. Born in 1870, Chief Keating came to Colorado in 1891 and worked in the mountain mining districts and later as a stage driver between Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek. He was appointed to the department in 1899 and rose through the ranks, and was promoted to Assistant Chief in 1921. His son, Stephen Keating, Jr. was also a Denver Firefighter.
*Douglas V Parrish (Captain): On September 20th, 1943, a small brush fire ignited timbers in Tunnel No. 10 of the Moffat Tunnel Rail Line. The tunnel is a 1600′ bore located approximately 27 miles west of Denver with no road access to the area. The Denver & Salt Lake Railroad contacted Chief Healy, the Department Chief and requested assistance in extinguishing the blaze. The Chief knew the importance of this rail line route and agreed to send a crew. He choose Douglas V. Parrish, Assistant Superintendent of the Fire Department Shops, because of his knowledge of fire pumps, Firefighter James Williams, because of his knowledge of mines, and two volunteers, Captain Parrish and Firefighter John Kennedy, both from Engine 8. Engine 4, one of the department’s newest rigs, was loaded onto a flat car in Denver and, along with 3 rail cars full of water, they departed for the fire. Late that night, they arrived at the tunnel. Captain Parrish, Williams, and Kennedy went into the tunnel to fight the blaze with Capt. William R. Parry in command, was saved only by accident, because his gas mask was working improperly and he left the tunnel to get another. The tunnel became a blazing inferno, resulting in a cave-in of the tunnel. The body of Parrish, age 47, was recovered 100 yards inside the tunnel the next day on September 21st, 1943, and firefighter Kennedy, would not be recovered until November 21st, 1943 and the body of Williams was recovered on November 24th, 1943, both deep inside the tunnel.
*John Kennedy (Firefighter): On September 20th, 1943, firefighter Kennedy was also part of the Moffat Tunnel Rail Line fire. Kennedy was the Chief’s driver from Station 8. The body of Kennedy, age 34, would not be recovered until November 21st, 1943 deep inside the tunnel.
*James Williams (Firefighter): On September 20th, 1943, firefighter Williams was also part of the Moffat Tunnel Rail Line fire. Williams was a firefighter from Station 8. The body of body of Williams, age 39, was recovered on deep inside the tunnel on November 24th, 1943.
*William W. Briggs (Captain): On November 29th, 1944, Truck 6 was responding to a report of a fire when it collided with a large box truck in the intersection of 12th & Champa. Captain Briggs sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to Denver General Hospital, where he died in the early morning hours of November 30th, 1944. Captain Briggs was born in Cripple Creek, CO and was appointed to the department in 1923. His father Silas E. Briggs was killed in the line of duty in 1928 in the collision of Engine 7 and Truck 12.
*Robert V. Parker (Engineer): On the evening of March 16th, 1945 Parker agreed to work the remainder of the shift for a fellow firefighter at Station 20. On the way to the station, Parker was going to stop by the grocery store at W. 8th Ave. & Federal Blvd., where his son worked, to tell him he was working that evening. As he crossed the street, he was struck by a hit-and-run driver. Parker was rushed to Denver General Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries in the early morning hours of March 17th, 1945. Witnesses and an off-duty Denver Police Officer rendered aid and were able to identify the hit-and-run vehicle. The driver was arrested at his residence within hours of the accident. Engineer Robert V. Parker, age 48, was a 23-year veteran of the department. Parker’s son, Firefighter/Technician Robert E. Parker (retired), and grandson, Captain Michael Parker (retired), followed him into the fire service with the Denver Fire Department.
*Leonard A. Shire (Firefighter): On March 29th, 1952 at 23:41, an alarm of a fire was transmitted for Miller Furniture Co. at 1640 Larimer St. First arriving companies found a large amount of fire occupying the structure, and a 2nd Alarm was struck. The three-story building was adjacent to two occupied hotels. Evacuations were ordered as firefighting efforts were undertaken. The spectacular blaze escalated to Three Alarms. After an intense battle, the blaze was quelled and firefighters began mop up operations. Suddenly, the aged building, fractured by fire, came down floor by floor into the basement. Firefighters scrambled to safety, clinging to ladders, window sills and fire escapes. Numerous injured firefighters staggered from the building. A roll call was held. Eight men were missing, buried in the rubble. Finding no other way to reach the buried, an adjacent basement wall was breached. Fires began to erupt around firefighters as they dug for their fallen comrades. After several hours of digging, six of the downed firefighters were rescued; two were deceased including Squad 4 Leonard Shire, age 35, an eight-year veteran.
*Fred Erb (Firefighter): Also responded to the March 29th, 1952 2nd alarm fire at the Miller Furniture Co. located at 1640 Larimer St. Erb was part of the firefighters that were buried in the rubble. After several hours of digging, six of the downed firefighters were rescued, and two were deceased including Squad 4 Fred Erb, age 29, a rookie with less than one year on the department.
*Chester T. Block (Captain): On January 17th, 1955 after the noon meal at Station 2, Captain Chester T. Block, age 48 of Squad 2 helped clean up the kitchen and went upstairs to his office. Moments later, he returned downstairs with terrible pain in his chest and informed the engine company captain. Dr. Harold Goldman, the police surgeon, was summoned to the station. Despite the efforts of Dr. Goldman and the crews of Station 2, Captain Block succumbed to the heart attack. Captain Block was appointed to the Fire Department on May 6th, 1932 and promoted Captain on October 1st, 1947.
*Charles M. McCadden (Firefighter): On March 14th, 1958 while enjoying recreational time with fellow firefighters at Fire Station 6. Firefighter Charles McCadden, age 32, suffered an apparent heart attack. He was rushed to Denver General Hospital. After initial treatment, he was released to his private physician. His physician sent him home and made an appointment for further testing at Rose Hospital on Monday morning. Shortly after arriving home, McCadden collapsed. Firefighters were dispatched to the residence where they tried to revive McCadden unsuccessfully for 40 minutes. Appointed to the department in 1950, Firefighter Charles M. McCadden of Truck Company 6 left behind his wife Dorothy, son Charles Jr., age 22 months, and daughter Karen Ann, age three months.
*Robert Parrahm (Captain): On March 20th, 1960, Robert Parrahm, captain of Engine 5 was killed in collision with automobile responding to false alarm. At 16:44 someone activated the fire alarm box 4841 at 29th & Brighton. Engine 5, under the command of Captain Robert Parrahm, was one of the companies that responded. As Engine 5 entered the intersection of 23rd & Market Street, the engine was struck broadside and overturned. Injured firefighters gathered themselves and realized Captain Parrahm was trapped under the wreckage. Working feverishly and with the aid of bystanders, they removed Parrahm from under the apparatus. However, he had been killed instantly. Later is was found out that a 12 year-old had maliciously pulled the fire alarm box. Parrahm became the 45th firefighter to die in the line of duty.
*Joseph H. Hotchkiss (Captain): On July 29th, 1960 Denver Firefighters were dispatched to a fire at Alton Wright Welding Company, 2077 S. Cherokee St. While fighting the fire inside the building, Captain Joseph Hotchkiss of Engine Company 13 became ill and exited the building, where he collapsed. Firefighters worked feverishly to revive Captain Hotchkiss without success; his death was attributed to an apparent heart attack. Captain Hotchkiss joined the Denver Fire Department on February 1st, 1942.
*Victor Sullivan Jr (Firefighter): On June 10th, 1967 the fire alarm box at 13th St. and Stout St. was activated. While responding, Engine Company 6 was struck broadside in the intersection of Speer Blvd. and Lawrence St. Firefighter Victor Sullivan Jr., riding the rear step of Engine 6, was hurled from the apparatus and sustained serious injuries. He was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in critical condition, where he never regained consciousness and died on June 28th, 1967. His death was attributed to severe head and internal trauma. The alarm they were responding to was maliciously activated and the third false alarm in the area within 30 minutes. The person responsible for the false alarm(s) was never identified. Firefighter Victor Sullivan Jr. was 35 years-old. He left behind a wife and four young children.
*John Donald Keller (Firefighter): In late 1967, and again on January 6, 1968, Firefighter John Donald Keller of Truck 15 was exposed to high levels of hydrogen cyanide fumes while performing his duties. On January 13th, 1968, his daughter Karen’s birthday, Firefighter Keller succumbed to the effects of hydrogen cyanide poisoning. Firefighter Keller, was age 32. He left behind his wife, Shirley, and five children all under the age of 14. The fire service, however, never left the Keller family. Shirley was instrumental in creating the Colorado Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Lakewood, and she serves as a board member for the Colorado Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Firefighter Keller’s son Robert became a Battalion Chief with South Metro Fire Rescue. His grandson Nathan became a dispatcher for South Metro and grandson Matt became a firefighter with West Metro Fire Rescue.
*Wayne Manaugh (Lieutenant): On September 17th, 1971, a fire was reported at #6 Polo Club Circle. Engine 21, under the command Lt. Wayne Manaugh, responded. Deep heavy snow blanketed the area, and Engine 21 laid out a considerable amount of hose. After the fire was extinguished and all hose reloaded, Engine 21 returned to quarters (Station 21) where Lt. Manaugh appeared exhausted and short of breath. He told the crew he was going to his office to clean up and rest. Approximately 1 hour later, a member went to check on the Lt. and found him unresponsive on the floor. The crew began resuscitation, and he was transported to Denver General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the result of an apparent heart attack. Lt. Manaugh was 53 years-old and became the 49th firefighter to die in the line of duty.
*Mark W. Langvardt (Engineer): On September 28th, 1992, at 02:07, dispatch received a call on a structure fire in a two-story commercial occupancy at 1625 S. Broadway. When firefighters arrived, heavy smoke was billowing from the structure upon arrival, but no visible fire. After forcible entry, they encountered high heat, and extreme smoke conditions. They found multiple remote rooms all heavily involved in fire. Additional companies were requested by command. Engineer Mark Langvardt of Truck 16 was performing truck operations on the second floor when he became separated from his partner. With a subsequent partial floor collapse of the second floor, Langvardt found himself in a room measuring 6 feet by 11 feet filled with filing cabinets and business equipment, with an aisle only 28 inches wide. The only window was 20 inches wide with a sill height of 42 inches and covered by a security grate. Engineer Langvardt was trapped and low on air. He was able to break a small hole in the window with his flash light, which alerted command and firefighters out front that he was in trouble. A second alarm was transmitted to dispatch and surrounding fire crews, and they initiated an intense rescue operation. The confined space of the room proved to be a challenge. Simultaneously, while attempts were being made to get Langvardt out through the window, they attempted a breaching of the room wall. The advancing fire required hand lines to be directed into the room, which complicated the rescue attempts. Rescuers could not raise Langvardt up and out the window because of the narrow space, the distance to the sill, and his weight in full bunking gear. After a 55-minute rescue operation, access to Langvardt was achieved through the breached wall. Langvardt was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead from smoke inhalation. Engineer Mark Langvardt became the 50th Denver Firefighter to make the ultimate sacrifice. Many Lessons were learned from his tragic death; namely the “Denver Drill” on confined space rescue evolved and is now taught at fire departments throughout the country. Jody Aquirre was sentenced to life in prison without parole for masterminding the arson.
*Douglas K. Konecny (Firefighter): On January 31st, 1993 as the nation was waiting for Super Bowl XXVII to begin, Denver Firefighters and Police were dealing with a tragic series of events. At 10:51 Truck 10 was dispatched to assist Denver Police Department with a welfare check on a possible suicidal party in a two-story duplex. Firefighters and Police attempted to make contact with the party without avail. Fearing the party in the home was in distress and seeing a partially open window on the second floor, a ladder was raised to the window. A police officer started to approach the ladder when Firefighter Doug Konecny, dressed in a bunking coat, day boots and helmet, said he would climb up and enter the residence. When Doug was approximately three quarters the way up the ladder, a handgun appeared in the window and a single shot rang out. Doug climbed back down the ladder, where it became obvious that he had been shot. The Truck 10 crew members grabbed Doug, took him to a safe location, and instituted immediate life-saving procedures. Doug was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to the throat. With the suicidal party now barricaded in the residence, Denver Police called for additional backup and SWAT. Negotiations for surrender with the party broke down after almost four hours, when the barricaded party set fire to the second story of the residence. As smoke and flames poured from the residence, the party, later identified as Lamar Edwards, exited the rear of the structure and shot himself. Edwards was taken to the hospital where he died several hours later. Firefighters then began to cautiously attack the fire, fearing the house might be booby trapped. The fire was extinguished with no further injuries. Firefighter Doug Konecny, age 48, was a 26-year veteran of the Department. Doug left behind two sons and a daughter. Since this incident, DFD has instituted new protocols and procedures for responding to welfare checks and suicidal individuals.
*Robert W. Crump (Firefighter): On August 17th, 2000 a torrential downpour hit the metropolitan area. Around 17:00 Squirt 10 was dispatched to 50th Ave. & Colorado Blvd. to assist motorists stranded by the flood waters. Firefighter Robert Crump and a fellow firefighter were alerted to a woman clinging to a metal pole in waist-deep water. Unknown to them, the woman was standing on the edge of a 10-foot deep culvert. As the firefighters approached the woman, Crump’s partner slipped into the culvert. Crump was able to rescue his partner, and then he attempted to rescue the woman. Crump lost his footing, fell into the culvert, and was quickly pulled under by the strong current into a 5-foot diameter drainage pipe. Additional companies were called to the scene and a frantic search was conducted for Crump. At approximately 22:45, the body of Firefighter Crump was found several blocks away in a drainage ditch. His death was attributed to drowning. Robert Crump was 37 years old, married, and the father of three young daughters. He was appointed to the department on April 1st, 1997 and became the 52nd Denver firefighter to die in the line of duty.
*Charles R. Drennan, Jr. (Assistant Chief): On September 13th, 2001 as the nation was trying to comprehend the terror attacks against the United States, the Denver Fire Department suffered the devastating loss of Assistant Chief Charles R. Drennan Jr., age 50. A DFD Captain had called Chief Drennan the night before to discuss personal problems the Captain was having. They had been friends for a number of years and agreed to meet the next morning and discuss the problems with the department Chief. Shortly after arriving at the Captain’s home, the Captain produced a high-caliber pistol. Chief Drennan and the Captain’s wife tried to convince him to put the weapon down, however the Captain fired the weapon, striking Chief Drennan in the chest. The Captain’s wife was able to escape. However, when police arrived, they found Chief Drennan and the Captain deceased. Assistant Chief Drennan’s son, Charles R. Drennan III, is currently the Division Chief of Operations with the department.
*Richard P. Montoya (Lieutenant): On May 14th, 2006 at 04:40 Denver Firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire at 4306 Thompson Court with reports of a trapped occupant. Engine 9 and Tower 9 were first to arrive. The crews found heavy smoke and fire issuing from the two-story residence. Engine 9, under the command of Lieutenant Richard Montoya, along with Tower 9 members, entered the residence and proceeded to the second floor for an aggressive interior attack and search. Quickly, they located a 16-year-old patient and removed her from the residence. Other companies were now on scene and assisting with the operation. Fire conditions on the second floor were becoming extreme when firefighters inside heard the beeping warning sound of a PASS (Personal Alert Safety System) device. Command initiated the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) for a downed firefighter. Crews on the interior began an aggressive search for the downed firefighter. Battling worsening fire conditions and debris, they located Lieutenant Montoya under a mattress in a bedroom adjacent to the stairs. His mask had been dislodged. Lieutenant Montoya was removed from the building and was in full cardiac arrest. Prior to his arrival at Denver Health and Hospital, his pulse was restored. After Lieutenant Montoya was in intensive care for seven days, he was removed from life support. The cause of death was oxygen deprivation resulting from smoke inhalation. Lieutenant Richard Patrick Montoya, was age 61, and was appointed to the department on July 1st, 1976. He was a Navy veteran who served two tours in Vietnam. He was 15 shifts away from his planned retirement from the Denver Fire Department.
*Jay Kittleson (Engineer): Passed away on May 30th, 2013 at the age of 60 years-old from an on duty illness. Jay was accepted onto the department in 1974. He served with the department for 34 years, retiring in 2008 as an Engineer. He served most of his career at Station 9.
*John P. Whelan, III (Engineer): On June 28, 2015 at 21:29 firefighters were dispatched to a reported warehouse on fire at 3860 Blake St. (Denver Blake Street Commercial Fire) The first arriving companies found a dumpster on fire adjacent to the building. The fire was quickly extinguished and crews began to check for any fire extension. Engineer John Whelan and the crew of Truck 8 went to the roof of the warehouse to check for any fire extension. While operating on the roof, Engineer Whelan stepped on an unseen fiberglass skylight, plunging him through the roof and 25 feet to the floor below. Firefighters immediately converged on Whelan inside the warehouse, where they began treating his injuries. He was transported to the hospital in serious condition. On July 15, Engineer John P. Whelan III, age 46, succumbed to his injuries and left behind his wife and young son. Whelan was added to the Colorado Fallen Firefighters Memorial in 2016
*George M. Helfer (Firefighter): Passed away on December 21st, 2019 at the age of 85 years-old from an on duty illness. Helfer was added to the Colorado Fallen Firefighters Memorial in 2022.
David Novotny (Firefighter): Passed away on November 27th, 2020 from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a Line of Duty Illness. David was a Denver Firefighter for 14 years, starting at the age of 58 and previously served with the Glendale Fire Department for 25 years before the merger. Prior to his fire service career, Dave was an Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy for four years, and a proud Vietnam Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). David receive a full honor military burial. Novotny was added to the Colorado Fallen Firefighters Memorial in 2022.
*Richard James Pula (Lieutenant): Passed away on March 1st, 2021 at the age of 50 years-old from an on duty illness. Pula was hired on the Denver Fire Department on August 16th, 2002 and left on cancer-related disability on July 16th, 2018. Rich was also a firefighter with the Edgewater Fire Department. Rich Pula is survived by his wife Jennifer and two children. Pula was added to the Colorado Fallen Firefighters Memorial in 2022.
*Jeffrey J. Billingsley (Technician): Passed away on September 20th, 2021 at the age of 42 years-old after suffering a cardiac event at work. Billingsley worked for the Department for over 19 years and was working out of Station 35 at the Denver International Airport. Jeff was a member of the department’s Pipes and Drums and a board member for DFD Burn Foundation. He was survived by his girlfriend, parents, brother, sister and nephew. Billingsley was added to the Colorado Fallen Firefighters Memorial in 2022.