A Brave but Modest Chief

A Brave but Modest Chief

Los Angeles, Cal., recently had a very serious fire, several lives being in jeopardy, and it was only through the bravery of the firemen that no lives were lost. Chief Eley made his report to the fire commissioners, in which he praised the men of the department for tneir heroism and made special mention of two names. But he modestly failed to tell about his own bravery and that two women and one man owe their lives to his personal action. Fire Commissioner Stockwell learned from Assistant Chief O’Donnel how Eley had distinguished himself, and had O’Donnel file a report supplementing that of his chief. O’Donnel’s report tells how Eley ran a scaling ladder against the wall of the burning building and at the risk of his own life rescued two women and a man. Eley thought so little of the incident that he failed to secure the names of the three who owe him their lives. Members of the fire commission said this was the second time on record where a fire chief had personally saved lives imperiled by fire. The two firemen given special mention by the chief are F. A. Jackson and D. S. Watherbee. both attached to truck 5, but temporarily working with engine company No. 23. Johnson assisted all the inmates of the hotel who were in sight to escape and then went to the fifth floor, with the corridors filled with smoke and gases, and found a baby near the elevator shaft. He carried the little one down the ladder to the street and thus saved its life. Wetherbee also went to the fifth floor to see if any others were in the building. He broke down every door he came to and found two men sleeping in one room. They were nearly overcome with the smoke and gas and were difficult to arouse, but Wetherbee assisted them to the fireescape and then to the ground below. The chief wants the names of these men placed on the roll of honor, so they will be entitled to a bronze medal that the department annually distributes to its brave ones.

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