From the Fire Engineering Vault: Boston Collapse Kills Five Firefighters

The city of Boston recently paid tribute to the five firefighters who were killed in a fire scene collapse in the Trumbull Street fire of 1964.

The Boston Globe reported on survivors reminiscing about the scene at the swiftness of the collapse. A Mass is set for Sunday to mark the 50th anniversary of the terrible fire. The five firefighters killed were Lt. John J. Geswell, Ladder 4; Lt. John J. McCorkle, Engine 24; Private Robert Clougherty, Engine 3; Private Francis L. Murphy, Engine 24; and Private James D. Sheedy, Ladder 4.

Acting Chief John E. Clougherty arrived on scene almost at the same time as the collapse. After the victims were removed, he used the aerial to knock down the precariously hanging walls, and the fire darkened down after that. At that point, he turned over command to a subordinate, and went to Boston City Hospital to identify a victim, Private Robert Clougherty of Engine 3.

Fire Engineering Editor Rob Maloney combed through the magazine archives to find a report from our June 1965 issue on the fire and fatalities.

You can download our original report as a PDF (1.7 MB) HERE.

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