On January 28, 1961, at 6:30 a.m., the Chicago Fire Department responded to a seven-story warehouse fire at 614 W. Hubbard St.  The structure was heavily involved and within 20 minutes the alarm was raised to a 5-11. The response brought more than 300 men, 67 pieces of equipment, and two fireboats pumping water from the Chicago River.

Battalion Chief George Kuhn led several firefighters onto the roof of an adjacent two-story building  to run a hose into the burning warehouse. Without warning, the adjoining warehouse wall collapsed onto the smaller building, burying Chief Kuhn and his firefighters. Other firefighters raced to rescue those buried in the rubble and, as they worked, the roof of the smaller building collapsed, burying the initial victims and rescuers.

In all nine fireman perished, including two battalion chiefs.

  • Battalion Chief George Rees, Engine 40, Battalion 1
  • Battalion Chief George Kuhn, Engine 19, Battalion 5
  • Lt. Charles Rauch, Engine 114
  • Lt. Louis Repkin, Truck 19
  • Firefighter Hillard S. Augustine, Squad 10
  • Firefighter William Hillistad, Engine 44
  • Firefighter Stanley Sliwinski, Engine 26
  • Firefighter Ciro Zuccarello, Engine 26
  • Firefighter Robert Burns, Squad 2

thanks Dan

hubbard_street_sully_kolomay-1 hubbard_street_sully_kolomay-2

Click the link above for a photo gallery that is Courtesy of the Fire Museum of Greater Chicago

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