Mathew M. Braidech

Mathew M. Braidech, former director of research for the American Insurance Association, died on June 27 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City after a year of recurring illness because of heart disease.

Braidech started his career in the Cleveland Public Utilities Department in 1926 and was chief chemist and bacteriologist in 1936 when he joined the chemical engineering faculty of Case School of Applied Science.

His work on the East Ohio Gas fire in Cleveland brought him an invitation to address the National Board of Fire Underwriters and he so impressed his listeners that the board invited him to open up a new research division. The fire, on October 20, 1944, was caused by a leaking tank of liquefied gas that exploded. Several city blocks were devastated and 131 persons were killed. He was research director of the engineering and fire protection standards division in New York from 1945 until he retired in 1967.

Until he became ill, Braidech continued to work as a consulting engineer. He lectured a good deal and taught at community colleges in New Jersey and at Manhattan College in New York City.

Wilbur Mowrer

Wilbur P. Mowrer, former Wooster, Ohio, fireman and technical services manager for the Akron Brass Company, died on April 29 in an auto accident.

Mowrer joined the Wooster Fire Department on April 24, 1964, then was on leave from 1966 to 1968 while he served in the United States Army in Vietnam. Following his return to the department, he was named a lieutenant on March 1, 1970. In December 1970, he left the department to work at Akron Brass. He continued to serve as a volunteer fire fighter.

For the past nine years, Mowrer has been instructing members of the fire service in the proper care and use of fire equipment.

Robert D. Heinl, Jr.

Retired Marine Corps Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr., 62, a former correspondent for Fire Engineering, died on May 5 while vacationing in St. Barthelemy Island in the French West Indies after a heart attack.

An historian, Heinl was the author of several books. “Soldiers of the Sea,” a history of the Marine Corps was published in 1963. Another book was “Victory at High Tide,” a book detailing the landing at Inchon during the Korean War.

He joined the Washington bureau of the Detroit News in 1968 as its military analyst. He wrote on military affairs for the newspaper until his retirement last year.

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