Archive for May 14th, 2016

Aurora Fire Department memorial

Excerpts from the

Each year, Aurora firefighters honor the first firefighter in the city to die in the line of duty with a wreath-hanging ceremony.

This year, the 87th anniversary of that death came a day after the sudden death of Aurora firefighter and paramedic Michael Adamovich, 38, at his home in Yorkville.

A wreath-hanging ceremony was held on Monday near Gelena Boulevard and Water Street where Aurora Fire Chief Gary Krienitz read the accounts of the 1929 fire that resulted in the death of Fire Capt. Barney Weiler, the first firefighter in Aurora to die in the line of duty.

On May 9, 1929, Weiler of Aurora Fire Company Number 4 died fighting a structure fire at the Orpheum Building in the 0-99 block of what was then known as Main Street, but which today is Galena Boulevard.  The Orpheum Building then housed several tenants, including King Joy Lo Chinese restaurant, Block’s Toggery Shop, Bud’s Smoke Shop, Universal Billiard Hall and a shoe shine parlor.

Weiler and his company responded to the fire at 12:32 a.m., along with three other fire companies.

The fire started in the basement of the billiard hall. When firefighters got there and made it into the basement, thick black smoke poured out of the entrance and flames reached across the ceiling. Weiler and another firefighter, Robert C. Bauman, stretched a hose to the basement and started to fight the fire from inside. Weiler stood in the doorway and fed the hose to Bauman, who worked to control the fire.

After an unknown amount of time, Bauman went outside to find Weiler on the ground with fellow firefighters working on him. Firefighter John Wells of Company 6 said he saw Weiler stagger out from the basement doorway and fall to his hands and knees as he reached the street, appearing to have gotten too much smoke.

Ernest McGinn of the Western United Gas and Electric company was summoned with a special inhaler, but attempts to revive Weiler were unsuccessful. He was transported to a hospital, where a doctor said he thought Weiler must have died before he got there.

The cause of the fire was deemed to be either defective or overloaded wires, which sparked somewhere between the first floor and ceiling of the billiard room’s basement.

Coroner Herman Vierke said Weiler had been overcome by smoke while assisting one of his men in the basement of the building. Cause of death, accidental suffocation.

After an investigation into Weiler’s death, a jury recommended that gas masks be supplied to all firefighters.

Weiler was born in Glaubig, Luxembourg, in September 1867. He joined the Aurora Fire Department in 1898 and was promoted to captain in 1907, working a total of 31 years for the department.

The next Aurora Fire Department on-duty death came five years later, on Jan. 12, 1934, when three firefighters died fighting the Woolworth fire in downtown Aurora.

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South Lake County CERT pancake breakfast

2016 CERT Pankcake Breakfast Flyer


Wauconda firefighters pay it forward

Excerpts from the

If you’re the person who purchased groceries for some Wauconda firefighters at a local supermarket, they want to thank you.

Lt. E.J. Miller and two other members of the Wauconda Fire District’s gold shift were at the register Sunday afternoon when they received a call about a possible fire and had to leave. They put their groceries back in their cart and took off for what turned out to be a false alarm.

When they returned to the store about 30 minutes later, their groceries had been paid for and bagged.

Miller asked a store employee if he knew who paid for the food, but the customer chose to remain anonymous.

“There was no receipt in the bag, so we don’t even know what the total was,” Miller said.

The firefighters pay for their own meals and had pooled about $85 for Sunday’s dinner. In the same spirit of giving, they gave the cash to the nonprofit Wauconda Island Lake Food Pantry on Wednesday [who] will use the money to buy milk, eggs, meat and other staples for as many as 200 needy local families.

The firefighters also shared their story on Facebook where it’s been an online hit [with] more than 70,000 views and more than 300 shares.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 10.40.34 PM

thanks Dan

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New engine for Sycamore

This from Art Zern:


The new Rosenbauer engine (Engine 1) was delivered a few weeks ago and should be in service by June 1.  The graphics were completed this week.  Still some work to do but getting close.

The 1923 Stutz is also close to completion (see attached)


Sycamore FD fire engine

New Rosenbauer engine for the Sycamore Fire Department Art Zern photo

1923 Stutz fire engine restored for the Sycamore Fire Departmen

Art Zern photo

1923 Stutz fire engine restored for the Sycamore Fire Departmen

Art Zern photo

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