Wednesday, December 10, 2014

FALLEN FIREFIGHTERS



COLORADO
  • Aaron Shallcross, Denver volunteer, 2/23/1875 (#)
  • Alfred Gardiner, Denver volunteer, 3/19/1877 (#)
  • Benjamin Barret, Denver volunteer, 3/18/1878 (#)
  • James Lloyd Denver FD 9/24/1886
  • Robert J. Krague Pueblo FD 7/31/1891
  • Horace Knight Denver FD 10/11/1891
  • Fred A. Pierrpont Denver FD 3/24/1893
  • Frank Mahoney Denver FD 3/24/1893
  • Harold William Hartwell Denver FD 3/23/1895
  • Fredrick S. Brawley Denver FD 3/23/1895
  • Richard Dandridge Denver FD 3/23/1895
  • Stephen Martin Denver FD 3/23/1895
  • Jerry O'Keefe Lake County FPD 9/20/1896
  • Lee E. Bottom Denver FD 10/15/1897
  • Harry Robinson Denver FD 7/20/1899
  • Charles Dolloff Denver FD 9/21/1904
  • John P. McGlade Denver FD 9/22/1904
  • Francis P. Lunt Denver FD 10/12/1904
  • Charles Eymann Denver FD 10/21/1904
  • Roy La Favre, Boulder volunteer, 8/10/1907* 
  • Issac O. Wilson, Boulder, 8/10/1907*
  • Robert Geddes Denver FD 3/2/1908
  • Vinson Davidson Denver FD 9/19/1910
  • Harry Cox Denver FD 8/2/1916
  • Roy Hood Durango FD 7/19/1918
  • Thomas M. Hyder Denver FD 8/23/1928
  • William Barber Denver FD 10/12/1928
  • Silas Briggs Denver FD 10/12/1928
  • Richard Schwairy Denver FD 10/12/1928
  • Elmore C. Palmer Denver FD 9/17/1931
  • James Moses Denver FD 6/13/1932
  • Curtis Dendinger Denver FD 6/21/1934
  • Colin Taylor Denver FD 6/28/1934
  • Andrew J. Mahon Denver FD 12/1/1934
  • William Feely Denver FD 3/20/1936
  • John H. Reisbeck Denver FD 3/20/1936
  • Edward Carlson Denver FD 9/28/1936
  • Roy Nusbaum Greeley FD 11/6/1936
  • George W. Brooks Denver FD 7/17/1938
  • James E. Simpson Denver FD 7/17/1938
  • Ralph Johnson Denver FD 10/15/1938
  • Henry Miller Denver FD 11/25/1938
  • Elmer Hair Denver FD 12/27/1940
  • Stephen Keating Denver FD 9/2/1941
  • John H. Kennedy Denver FD 9/21/1943
  • James Williams Denver FD 9/21/1943
  • Douglas V. Parrish Denver FD 9/21/1943
  • William Briggs Denver FD 11/30/1944
  • Robert V. Parker Denver FD 3/17/1945
  • Joseph F. Robida Pueblo FD 4/9/1945
  • W. A. DeLong Pueblo FD 12/25/1949
  • Fred Erb Denver FD 3/29/1952
  • Leonard Shire Denver FD 3/29/1952
  • Clyde F. Summers Rocky Ford FD 7/12/1953
  • William M. Lueker Rocky Ford FD 7/12/1953
  • Louis G. Hoffman Durango FD 2/19/1954
  • Elzie Briggs Durango FD 2/19/1954
  • Chester T. Block Denver FD 1/17/1955
  • Harold Hubbell S. Adams CO VFD 4/17/1955
  • Charles McCadden Denver FD 3/14/1958
  • Robert W. Parrahm Denver FD 3/20/1960
  • Joseph H. Hotchkiss Denver FD 7/29/1960
  • Robert Babcock Golden VFD 2/9/1964
  • Sherman C. Reed W. Adams CO FD 2/19/1965
  • Clifford R. Carpenter Fort Collins FD 6/29/1965
  • Victor H. Sullivan Denver FD 6/28/1967
  • John D. Keller Denver FD 1/13/1968
  • Clyde H. Bussey Westminster VFD 8/30/1968
  • Raymond Dovala Cherryvale FPD 1/8/1969
  • John Cernich Littleton FD 4/28/1969
  • Wayne D. Manaugh Denver FD 9/17/1971
  • Calvin Clark Lakewood FD 2/28/1972
  • Wesley I. Pittman DeBeque FD 2/20/1974
  • Nick P. Parks Durango FD 8/26/1974
  • Wilbur E. Unruh Buckley Ntl. Air Base 12/18/1974
  • Jack Lackey Sheridan FD 7/13/1975
  • Guyon Zimmerman Federal Heights FD 1/7/1976
  • Donald Wescott El Paso CO VFD 5/7/1976
  • Anthony A. Czak BLM Hand Crew 7/17/1976
  • Stephen H. Furey BLM Hand Crew 7/17/1976
  • Scott L. Nelson BLM Hand Crew 7/17/1976
  • James M. Wood Parker FPD 2/20/1981
  • William J. Duran City of Boulder FD 1/26/1982
  • Scott E. Smith City of Boulder FD 1/26/1982
  • Richard D. Watts SO Adams CO VFD 4/29/1982
  • George R. Burton Parker FPD 4/17/1983
  • Colin T. Boast Inter-Canyon FD 10/4/1984
  • Richard McConnell Castle Rock FD 2/3/1985
  • Phillip Hamilton US Dept of Interior 8/5/1986
  • Harald Siewers US Dept of Interior 8/5/1986
  • Lee Steingoetter US Dept of Interior 8/5/1986
  • Darrel D. Sutton City of Boulder FD 12/27/1986
  • August Valentine Spanish Peaks FD 7/31/1987
  • James L. Seela Franktown FPD 3/16/1988
  • Barry Halvorsen Lakewood FD 4/11/1988
  • Scott A. Reynolds Deer Mtn. FPD 10/19/1988
  • John P. Hager Castlewood FPD 9/10/1989
  • Kirke L. Martin Wellington Lake FPD 6/15/1992
  • Richard Wilson Glenwood Spgs. FD 6/29/1992
  • Mark Langvardt Denver FD 9/28/1992
  • Douglas Konecny Denver FD 1/31/1993
  • Martin G. Kautz Brush VFD 8/31/1995
  • Richard Kent Tyler BLM Helitac Crew 7/6/1994
  • Robert E. Browning BLM Helitac Crew 7/6/1994
  • Don Mackey USFS Smokejumper 7/6/1994
  • Roger Roth USFS Smokejumper 7/6/1994
  • Jim Thrash USFS Smokejumper 7/6/1994
  • Jon R. Kelso Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
  • Tamera Jean Bickett Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
  • Scott Alan Blecha Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
  • Levi Brinkley Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
  • Douglas Michael Dunbar Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
  • Terri Ann Hagen Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
  • Bonnie Jean Holtby Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
  • Rob Johnson Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
  • Kathi Walsleben Beck Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
  • Robert W. Crump Denver FD 8/17/2000
  • Jay Alan Shaffer Larkspur FPD 3/17/2001
  • Lazaro Martinez Fisher's Peak FPD 7/26/2001
  • Charles R. Drennan, Jr. Denver FD 9/13/2001
  • Ralph Vance Elk Creek FPD 12/14/2001
  • Daniel Rama Grayback Forestry 6/21/2002
  • Retha Shirley Grayback Forestry 6/21/2002
  • Zachary Zigich Grayback Forestry 6/21/2002
  • Bartholomew Bailey Grayback Forestry 6/24/2002
  • Alan Wayne Wyatt USFS NF 7/2/2002
  • Milt Stollak Hawkins & Powers 7/18/2002
  • Rich Schwartz Hawkins & Powers 7/18/2002
  • Leonard Gordon Knight CSFS Contractor 7/30/2002
  • Michael E. Lynch Penrose FD 2/3/2004
  • Barrie J. Niebergall Red, White & Blue 3/16/2004
  • Richard Patrick Montoya, Denver 5/21/2006
  • Shame M. Stewart, Ault-Pierce FD 2008
  • Robert Marias, State Forest Service 4/15/2008
  • Terry W. DeVore , Olney Springs 4/15/2008
  • John W. Schwartz, Jr., Olney Springs 4/15/2008
  • Brion Newkirk, Union Colony 2/27/2008
  • Brett Stearns, BLM 6/26/2009
  • Jeff Davis, Platte Canyon 4/18/2012
  • Donald E. Felton, South Park County 10/27/2012
  • Richard Lee Marchman, Indian Peaks Fire Department, 7/9/2014
  • Willard L. Clapper, Aspen Fire Protection 10/16/14
  • Firefighter John Whelan, Denver 6/15/2015

    (*) = Incident reported in New York Times 8/11/1907; not listed on state memorial
    (#) = Named in the book "Denver in Flames" by Dick Kreck, pages 262-263; not listed on state memorial  

WYOMING
  • Ted Drake, Wyoming State Forestry, May 17, 2014
  • Adam Longo, Natrona County Fire Protection District, April 18, 2012
  • Jacob Cook - Evanston Volunteer Fire Department - April 18, 2005
  • Robert Henderson - Evanston Volunteer Fire Department - April 18, 2005
  • Anndee Huber - Newcastle Fire Department - May 22, 2003
  • Roger "Bo" Rathbun - Crook County Firefighters - November 8, 2000 
  • James Burnett - Oklahoma Forestry Services - August 11, 2000 
  • Bruce Honstain - Powell F.D. - September 10, 1996
  • Wilbert Hansen - Laramie Co. #6 - Nov. 11, 1993
  • James E. Dame - Natrona Co. Firefighters - March 7, 1991
  • Alan L. Mickelson - Gillette F.D. - January 31, 1989
  • Edward L. Hutton - BLM - October 11, 1988
  • Donald Kuykendall - U.S. Forest Service - Sept. 11, 1988
  • Merrin Rodgers - BLM - August 19, 1988
  • Darrell D. Staley - Evanston F.D. - July 4, 1988
  • Steven L. Huitt - F.E. Warren AFB - April 21, 1988
  • Douglas Cuzzort - Bighorn Airways - September 3, 1983
  • Gene Ahrendt - September 3, 1983
  • Cecil Lynch - Jackson Fire Department - August 8, 1980
  • Kenneth D. Double - F.E. Warren AFB - July 21, 1976
  • Robert C. Moore - Cody F.D. - May 20, 1974
  • James R. Elgin - August 18, 1970 
  • John E. Bastian - August 18, 1970 
  • David L. Stoudt - Avery Aviation - September 3, 1969
  • Wayne A. Garkie - September 3, 1969
  • Galen M. Northrop - BLM - August 14, 1969
  • Ike Roberts - Rock Springs F.D. - September 15, 1962
  • Floyd L. Travis - Campbell Co. Fire Dept. - July 24, 1960
  • Elsie Christensen - Weston Co. Fire - October 23, 1952
  • Michael T. Sullivan - Cheyenne F.D. - March 13, 1952
  • Edward Archer - U.S. Forest Service - September 7, 1950
  • C.K. Coltrane - Casper Fire Department - January 16, 1949 
  • Alfred G. Clayton - U.S. Forest Service - August 21, 1937
  • Rex A. Hale - U.S. Forest Service - August 21, 1937
  • Billy Lea - Bureau of Public Roads - August 21, 1937
  • Paul E. Tyrrell - U.S. Forest Service - August 21, 1937
  • James Saba - Civilian Cons. Corps - August 21, 1937
  • Clyde Allen - Civilian Cons. Corps - August 21, 1937
  • Roy Bevens - Civilian Cons. Corps - August 21, 1937
  • George  Rodgers - Civilian Cons. Corps - August 21, 1937
  • Mack T. Mayabb - Civilian Cons. Corps - August 21, 1937
  • Ambrocio Garza - Civilian Cons. Corps - August 21, 1937
  • Earnest Seelke - Civilian Cons. Corps - August 21, 1937
  • John B. Gerdes - Civilian Cons. Corps - August 21, 1937
  • Rubin D. Sherry - Civilian Cons. Corps - August 21, 1937
  • Will C. Griffith - Civilian Cons. Corps - August 21, 1937
  • William Whitlock - Civilian Cons. Corps - August 21, 1937
  • Henry Larsen - Rawlins F.D. - February 23, 1930
  • Fred W. Tossie - Sheridan F.D. - January 22, 1929
  • John S. Federhen - Cheyenne F.D. - September 10, 1920


DFD LINE OF DUTY

DENVER FIRE DEPARTMENT

  • Volunteer Aaaron Shallcross collapsed and died after fire at Planters Hotel. Feb. 23, 1875. First Denver firefighter to die in the line of duty. [Name not listed on state firefighters' memorial - Editor]
  • Alfred Gardiner killed by falling wall. March 19,1877. [Name not listed on state firefighters' memorial - Editor]
  • Benjamin Barret killed at fire at Eastbrook Stables. March 18, 1878. [Name not listed on state firefighters' memorial - Editor]
  • James Lloyd crushed by fire horse at Hose Company 4. Sept. 24, 1886.
  • Horrace Knight, driver of Steamer 5, killed at railroad crossing. Oct. 11, 1891.
  • Frederick Pierrepont, of Hook & Ladder 1, and Frank Mahoney, of Hose 4, killed by falling wall at Summit Fuel and Feed Co. March 24, 1893.
  • Harold Hartwell, Frederick Brawley, Richard Dandridge and Stephen Martin, all of Hose 3, killed in floor collapse at St. James Hotel. March 23, 1895.
  • Lee Bottom, driver, thrown from horse-drawn Steamer 7. Oct. 14, 1897. 
  • Harry Robinson, driver for assistant fire chief, sickened by fumes at Western Chemical Co. June 18, 1899.
  • Charles Dolloff, John McGlade, Frank Lunt and Charles Eymann felled by nitric acid fumes at fire at Denver Post engraving department. Sept. 20, 1904
  • Robert Geddes, lieutenant, fatally injured when street car struck Hook & Ladder 1 at 15th and Market streets. Capt. A.S. Greiber, six others injured. "The fire to which the men were making the run proved trivial," newspaper said. March 1, 1908.
  • Vincent Davidson, captain, fatally injured when Hose 13 skidded on wet pavement at 15th and Market streets. Sept. 18, 1910.
  • Harry Cox killed when Hose 4 struck by bus on Broadway at 16th St. Aug. 2, 1916.
  • Thomas M. Hyder killed when Pumper 21 collided with coal truck at East Virginia Avenue and South Clarkson Street. Aug. 23, 1928.
  • William Barber, Richard Schwairy and Silas Briggs killed when Pumper 7 and Truck 12 collided at 42nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard. Oct. 12, 1928.
  • James Moses, deputy chief, died of heart attack after returning from fire call. June 14, 1932.
  • Colin Taylor, of Engine 16, overcome by smoke at fire at 421 Williams St. June 20, 1934.
  • Andrew Mahon, assistant chief, fatally injured in wall collapse at Midwest Trunk & Bag Manufacturing Co., 1524 15th St. Nov. 30, 1934.
  • John Reisbeck killed when Engine 10 collided with meat truck enroute to a false alarm. March 20, 1936.
  • William Feely took ill while on duty at Station 12 and died in hospital. March 21, 1936.
  • Edward Carlson struck by car while shoveling snow at Station 9. Sept. 28, 1936.
  • George Brooks and James Simpson, both of Pumper 3, killed when their engine collided with Hook & Ladder 4 at 20th and Larimer streets. Brooks was a captain. July 17, 1938.
  • Ralph Johnston, captain of Truck 8, suffered heart attack while on duty. Oct. 9, 1938.
  • Elmer Hair suffered heart attack while on duty at Station 19. Dec. 28, 1940.
  • Stephen Keating, assistant chief, took ill while on duty. Sept. 3, 1941. 
  • Douglas Parrish, James Williams and John Kennedy killed on mutual aid assignment for a fire in a railroad tunnel west of Denver. Sept. 30, 1943.
  • William Briggs, captain of Hook & Ladder 6, killed in collision at 12th and Larimer streets. Nov. 30, 1944. (Briggs father, also a Denver firefighter, died in collision between Pumper 7 and Truck 21 in 1928).  
  • Lenard Shire and Fred Erb killed in floor collapse at Miller Furniture Co. fire, 1640 Larimer St. March 29, 1952. 
  • Chester Block, captain of the rescue squad, suffered heart attack at quarters of Engine 2. Jan. 17, 1955. 
  • Robert Parrahm, captain of Engine 5, killed in collision with automobile enroute to false alarm. March 20, 1960. 
  • Joseph Hotchkiss, captain of Engine 2, suffered heart attack at fire at Alton Wright Welding Co., 2077 South Cherokee St. July 29, 1960.
  • Victor Sullivan killed when Pumper 6 collided with automobile enroute to false alarm. June 28, 1967.
  • John Keller, of Station 15, died at home after being exposed to cyanide while on duty several days earlier. Jan. 13, 1968.
  • Wayne Manaugh suffered heart attack at Station 21. Sept. 17, 1971.
  • Mark Langvardt, of Station 16, suffered smoke inhalation at three-alarm fire on South Broadway. Sept. 28, 1992.
  • Douglas Konecny, of Station 10, shot by gunman while assisting police at standoff on Humboldt Street. Jan. 31, 1993.
  • Robert Wayne Crump, of Squirt 10, died in flash flood. Aug 17, 2000.
  • Assistant Chief Charles Rawls Drennan died in shooting. Sept. 13, 2001.
  • Lt. Richard Patrick Montoya, of Engine 9, died of injuries sustained in house fire. May 21, 2006. (Injured May 14, 2006)
  • Firefighter John Whelan, of Station 8, died of injuries sustained at a dumpster fire. June 15, 2015. (Injured June 28, 2015)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

1980s & 1990s


    Masonic Lodge No. 5,  Welton Street, Denver - 1983
    Photo: Lodge No. 5 website
  • On June 29, 1981, fire destroyed the Stevens Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Five people were injured. [UPI dispatch in Pittsburgh Press] Rick Farwell, spokesman for the Cheyenne Fire Department, described the old hotel as "a total loss."
  • On Jan. 26, 1982, Boulder firefighters William J. Duran and Scott L. Smith died in a training fire in a building near 15th Street and Hawthorn Avenue. Three other firefighters were injured.
  • On Nov. 23, 1983, a five-alarm fire burned for nine hours at the University Hills Shopping Center in Denver. [Associated Press] The flames spread through suspended ceilings and reached more than a dozen stores, many stocked for the holiday shopping season. Other business sustained smoke damage. Two of the 150 firefighters at the scene sustained injuries. Denver Fire Chief Myrle Wise called the blaze "one of the worst" in his 40-year career. Water from fire engines and aerial ladders turned to ice in near-zero temperatures. Thirty-five of the city's 41 piece of fire apparatus attended the fire. [AP story in Palm Beach Post]
  • On March 4, 1983, fire gutted the Masonic Temple in downtown Denver. Flames shot 75 feet into the air. Several firefighters suffered burns. The temple - known as "The Old Lady on Welton Street" - was built in 1889.
  • On Aug. 1, 1984, a commercial truck carrying six Navy torpedoes overturned at the junction of I-70 and I-25 in Denver, a busy intersection nicknamed "The "Mouse Trap." The Denver Fire Department turned to an Army ordnance team to secure the 19-foot-long torpedoes packed in shipping crates. [Associated Press story in Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Aug. 2, 1984]
  • On Dec. 16, 1985, a dozen people died in a propane explosion at Rocky Mountain Natural Gas in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. [Glenwood Springs Post]
  • On Nov. 15, 1987, Continental Airlines Flight 1713 crashed as it departed Denver's Stapleton International Airport in a snowstorm, killing 28 people and injuring 54 others. Firefighters worked for hours to free survivors from the wreckage of the DC-9 jetliner. "They were digging them out row by row," said Joe Cipri, a Denver firefighter. [Associated Press] "Some were screaming, but most people were real calm -- just waiting their turns to get out." One victim yelled "Get me out of here" but was dead by the time firefighters reached him, Cipri said. Rory Moore, another firefighter, said it was "a horrible feeling -- a helpless feeling" trying to rescue so many people. Investigators later said icing interfered with the aircraft's controls. [Associated Press story in Anchorage Daily News]
  • In 1988, fires swept 1 million acres of Yellowstone National Park.
  • On Easter Sunday 1988 (April 3, 1988), fire swept a row of businesses at Fourth and Lincoln streets in Loveland, Colorado. Firefighters from Loveland, Fort Collins, Berthoud and the Big Thompson Canyon Fire Department worked for three hours to bring the fire under control. They were equipped with four pumpers, two aerial ladders and two squads. The first crews to arrive at the fire reported heavy smoke from the roof. The business row was constructed in the 1890s. Arson was the probable cause of the fire. Lincoln Street was closed for several days after the blaze. [Loveland Fire Rescue Authority archives]
  • On April 21, 1988, Steven Huitt, an Airman assigned to the F.E. Warren Air Force Base Fire Department in Cheyenne, Wyoming, died in a joint firefighter training exercise with city firefighters at the military facility.
  • On Jan.31, 1989, Alan Lee Mickelson, 36, a member of the Gillette, Wyoming, Fire Department, fell to his death after a roof collapsed at a church fire. Unknown to the firefighters, the fire had been burning for seven hours in a concealed space between the ceiling and roof. Mickelson, a volunteer for ten years, was among the first firefighters in Campbell County, Wyoming, to achieve Firefighter III certification. [Fire Dept. website] 
  • On Nov. 25-26, 1990, Denver firefighters battled flames at a United Airlines jet fuel depot near Stapleton International Airport for 53 hours. Dark clouds from the blaze drifted over the city and health officials warned people with respiratory problems to remain indoors. [New York Times] About a quarter of the 13 million gallons of jet fuel at the depot went up in flames that reached as high as 500 feet. "It was a monster," Denver Fire Department spokesman Mike McNeill said. Temperatures reached 3500F. The fire was finally "snuffed out" when Continental Airlines, which owned tanks near the United tanks, hired the private oil well firefighting company Boots & Coots of Texas. [Associated Press story printed in Alleghany Times] Denver Fire Chief Richard Gonzales said: "The reality is this kind of thing doesn't happen very often and there are very few people who do it on a regular basis." Boots & Coots president Dwight Wiliams likened his specialty to "riding bad horses."
  • On Nov. 25-26, 1990, Denver firefighters battled flames at a United Airlines jet fuel depot near Stapleton International Airport for 53 hours. Dark clouds from the blaze drifted over the city and health officials warned people with respiratory problems to remain indoors. [New York Times] About a quarter of the 13 million gallons of jet fuel at the depot went up in flames that reached as high as 500 feet. "It was a monster," Denver Fire Department spokesman Mike McNeill said. Temperatures reached 3500F. The fire was finally "snuffed out" when Continental Airlines, which owned tanks near the United tanks, hired the private oil well firefighting company Boots & Coots of Texas. [Associated Press story printed in Alleghany Times] Denver Fire Chief Richard Gonzales said: "The reality is this kind of thing doesn't happen very often and there are very few people who do it on a regular basis." Boots & Coots president Dwight Wiliams likened his specialty to "riding bad horses.
  • On March 4, 1991, fire swept a retirement home in Colorado Springs and killed nine residents. "Neighbors and employees pushed most of the residents to safety in wheelchairs." [Associated Press story in St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
  • On July 6, 1994, Colorado's South Canyon Fire - at Storm King Mountain, near Glenwood Springs - killed 14 forest service firefighters. Lightning touched off the blaze two days earlier. Shifting winds fanned flames that trapped the firefighters.
  • On Jan. 27, 1997, an arson fire killed five people at the La Hacienda, a residential motel in the Denver suburb of Thornton, which is covered by the North Metro Rescue Fire Authority. Two firefighters fell through the roof of the motel, and one of them suffered a leg injury. [Associated Press story in Daily Courier of Yavapai County, Arizona] 
  • On July 12, 1998, an arson fire damaged a decommissioned B-52 bomber at an aviation museum on the site of the former Lowry Air Force Base, Denver. [Rocky Mountain News]

1970-1979

Fire at F.J. LeGrue & Co., Denver - 1978
  • On Feb. 5, 1970, explosives destroyed or damaged 42 school buses in a Denver parking lot as the city moved to racially integrate its public schools. Acting Fire Chief Dan Cronin said the explosives were placed under the fuels tanks. Workers were able to move some of the buses during the fire. [United Press International story in Pittsburgh Press]
  • On Jan.17, 1971, five children - aged 3 months to 9 years - died in a house fire in Denver. They were trapped in an upstairs bedroom of a 2 1/2-story clap-board dwelling. Their father, Merle Adams, escaped. The children were identified as Timmy, 9, Michael, 8, Steve, 6, Chris, 2, and Debbie, 3 months. [Combined UPI, AP wire dispatch in Deseret News of Salt Lake City.] Neighbor Max Tafoya said Mr. Adams father ran into his house: "He was crying 'My children! My children!' and I ran out and the whole house looked like it was on fire. I could hear the children screaming upstairs and ran to get onto the back porch but the heat and flames were so bad I couldn't get in." Denver firefighters found the children huddled on two of three beds in the room, apparently dead of smoke inhalation.
  • 1972: Fire at Lowe Opera House in Julesburg, Colorado; constructed 1917. [operaoldcolo.info]
  • On Feb. 21, 1972, Aurora firefighters rescued James Harr, 18, and Rick Putnam, 17, from an underground air vent at an abandoned Titan I missile silo on the Lowry Air Force bombing range. Harr sustained "internal injuries when the pressurized steel door to the air vent, five feet in diameter, closed on him as he crawled through it." [United Press International story in News-Sentinel of Lodi, California] Putnam was unhurt. Other boys drove to a farmhouse for help.
  • On Feb. 28, 1972, Lakewood firefighter Calvin Clark was electrocuted on a public service call. Clark was attempting to rescue a cat from a utility pole, [West Metro Fire Rescue Facebook]
  • On March 26, 1972, a fire in a brick home near Aurora, Colorado, killed five family members: Wilber Routon, 40, his wife Janet, 36, stepson Ronald McReyhew, 18, and daughters, Susan 10, and Joyce, 6. [United Press International report printed in Williamson Daily News of West Virginia]
  • On Sept. 26, 1973, an explosion trapped workers atop a grain elevator in Loveland, Colorado. Authorities summoned a helicopter to help rescue workers from the roof of the Big Thompson Mill and Elevator. The explosion destroyed a section of the "Big T" structure from levels three to seven. The section measured 25-feet in width. The Loveland Fire Department received mutual aid from the fire departments in Berthound and Fort Collins. [Loveland Fire Rescue Authority archives]
  • On April 10, 1974, fire killed three people at the three-story Lewiston Hotel, a lodging for transients in downtown Denver. [Associated Press] About a dozen other were injured, suffering burns and smoke inhalation. Denver firefighters used ladders to rescue residents, said Jack Lynch, division fire chief. Two people jumped. The hotel's fire doors were "blocked open." [AP story in Evening Independent of St. Petersburg, Florida]
  • On April 10, 1974, a fire that started in a feed mill destroyed 2 1/2 blocks of Grand Junction, south of the main business district. Grand Junction Fire Chief R.T. Mantlo said the fire was apparently caused by an electrical short because a witness reported "considerable arcing" in a transformer station at the back of the mill. [United Press International story in Bangor Daily News of Maine] The wind whipped up the flames and two firemen suffered minor injuries.
  • On Aug. 24, 1974, Durango, Colorado, firefighter Nick Parks III and police Corporal Gale Emerson died when wall collapsed at a raging fire on Main Avenue, according to the Associated Press and Durango Herald. "The whole thing came down without warning," said an official quoted by the AP. Six buildings were destroyed; a seventh was damaged.
  • On Dec. 18, 1974, Wilbur Unruh, a firefighter at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado, was among five people who died in the explosion of a jet fuel storage tank that was being cleaned, according to a history of the military facility. The explosion caused a 50-foot crater.   
  • On Aug. 7, 1975, Continental Airlines Flight 426 crashed on takeoff at Denver's Stapleton International Airport. There were no fatalities among the 134 people aboard although several suffered serious injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that windshear was the probable cause of the crash. The Boeing 727 reached about 150-200 feet when it started sinking. The pilot failed to regain control. The jetliner struck the right shoulder of Runway 35L, slid for 2,000 feet and came to rest at an airport road. Airport firefighters flooded the engines with foam.
  • On Oct. 2, 1975, fire broke out at Protex Industrial Supply in Denver. [DFD]
  • On Christmas Eve 1975, the City of Denver demoted 60 fire captains to lieutenant to stay within a $17 million budget. Mike Vitry, a demoted fire officer, ridiculed Mayor Bill McNichols. "I hope Ebenezer McNichols has just as nice and happy a Christmas as I'm having now," Vitry said [Associated Press].
  • In May 1976, fire struck the Yorkshire Apartments in El Paso County, Colorado. (The Donald Wescott Fire Protection District is named in honor of the firefighter who died in the line of duty at the Yorkshire Apartments. Other firefighters were injured in the fire caused by gasoline stored in open containers. A family of three also died.)
  • On July 21, 1976, a training accident claimed the life of Kenneth D. Double, a firefighter at Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.
  • On July 31, 1976, the Big Thompson Flood struck near Loveland, Colorado.
  • On Nov. 16, 1976, a Texas International DC-9 stalled after takeoff at Stapleton and crashed. The 81 passengers and 5 crewmembers suffered a total of 14 injured; no fatalities.
  • On Sept, 18, 1978, fire gutted F.J. LeGrue & Co., a floral business, on South Broadway, Denver. [DFD]
  • On May 21, 1979, the body of an unidentified male ("John Doe") was found at the scene of arson fire at 128 28th St., Denver. The victim's identity remains unknown after three decades. The incident is on the Denver Police Department "cold case" list.
  • On Dec. 23, 1979, a sniper's bullet grazed John Dishong, an Aurora firefighter driving a fire truck. A metal ashtray in his jacket deflected the bullet. [Associated Press story in Spokane Daily Chronicle]