Chicago Firefighter Badge Added to Wall of Fallen Heroes

A Chicago (IL) firefighter who was killed in the line of duty has had his badge added to the Wall of Fallen Heroes at the Chicago Fire Academy, reports (

Captain Herbert T. Johnson died while fighting a house fire in the Gage Park neighborhood in November of 2012. A federal investigation later determined poor communication at the fire in the 2300 block of West 50th Place was a factor in Johnson’s death.

Johnson was with the Chicago Fire Department for 32 years. He’d just been promoted to Captain several months before he died.

“The men and women of the Chicago Fire Department represent the highest values of the City of Chicago, having dedicated themselves to serving the people of our great city,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “They truly are Chicago’s bravest, and nobody embodied that spirit more than Captain Herbie Johnson.”

Public safety service is a tradition in the Johnson family. Mayor Emanuel’s office says one of the Captain’s brothers serves as a firefighter, three brothers serve as Chicago Police Officers, and his sister is a retired Chicago Police Officer.

Johnson’s badge is now up at the Robert J. Quinn Chicago Fire Academy, where a ceremony was held Saturday. It’s along side the badges of 566 other Chicago firefighters and paramedics who were killed in the line of duty.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, on November 12, 2012, Captain Johnson, 54, and his engine company crew were dispatched along with other firefighters to a report of a structure fire in a 2-1/2 story wood frame residential structure. The first unit on the scene, a battalion chief, reported a working fire and found conditions on the first and second floors clear with fire on the second floor of an enclosed porch to the rear. Captain Johnson and his unit arrived on the scene there were reports from an arriving ladder company of fire visible from the attic. Captain Johnson and his crew secured a water supply and advanced a hoseline to the second floor. Fire conditions changed rapidly and the fire overcame Captain Johnson’s position. Other firefighters were able to remove Captain Johnson from the structure and bring him to the street. Captain Johnson was transported by fire department ambulance to the hospital. He died at 1845hrs as a result of asphyxiation (smoke inhalation). 


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