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Fallen Firefighters

Even the death of friends will inspire us as much as their lives...their memories will be encrusted over with sublime and pleasing thoughts, as moments of other men are overgrown with moss; for our friends have no place in the graveyard.

Mathew E. Sloan
1888 - 1901

Matt Sloan became the first paid Fire Chief of the fire department of the City of Mobile when he formed the department in 1888. He was born June 16, 1848. He joined the volunteer fire department in 1867 and paved the way for his subsequent success and advancement. In 1868 he was elected housekeeper of Phoenix Fire Company No. 6. He remained in that position until 1873, when he was elected Foreman of the same company, serving in the latter capacity for two years. In 1881 he was elected Chief Engineer which he remained until his death. On the night of October 8, 1901 shortly after 9 p.m. a fire was called in from the Drago Grain Company at Commerce and Conti Streets. While enroute to the fire in his horse drawn buggy, Matt Sloan was stricken by Apoplexy and died within a few minutes.

James Tierney
1891 -1906

Tierney became a member of Company 7 of the Mobile Fire Department in 1891 and was one of the most popular members of the Mobile Fire Department. On May 1, 1906 at approximately 2:37 p.m. while in the discharge of his duties at a fire in the J.H. Glennon house at 965 Palmetto Street it is believed he receive a strong electrical shock which resulted in his death.

William Murray
1909 - 1911

Murray, a fireman of company No. 2 of the Mobile Fire Department was almost instantly killed around 11:30 p.m. on Monday night, October 31, 1911 when the hose wagon he was riding on, while enroute to a fire, crashed into the big aerial truck of No 4, at the corner of St. Joseph and St. Louis Streets. He was killed at the scene of the accident.

Joe Serda
1896 - 1913

Serda, a pipeman for Company No. 3 and one of the bravest firefighters in the department, lost his life when he was crushed beneath tons of falling brick on January 10, 1913 shortly after 7 p.m. while battling a spectacular fire at the Mobile Theater.

Charles A. Hannon
1919 - 1928

Hannon, a driver for Company No. 12 was injured when the fire apparatus was in a collision at Davis Avenue and Armstead Street on March 21, 1928. He died from his injuries on December 8,1928

Joseph Edward Roberts
1928 - 1929

Roberts was seriously injured when a fire truck he was riding, on its way to answer an alarm, caromed from the side of an automobile and plunged through the side of a store at Washington Avenue and St. Michael Street. Roberts, 33 and only a member of Mobile Fire Department and Company No. 5 for less than a year succumbed to his injuries and died at City Hospital on the night of September 22, 1929 at 9:40 p.m.

Albert Joseph Andrade
1921 -1934

Andrade a member of Company No. 10, was seriously injured when involved in a collision with another fire truck at the intersection of Broad and Government Streets, while enroute to a fire. The vehicles crashed while trying to avoid hitting an automobile that failed to yield to the sirens of the trucks. Andrade 42, and 18 year veteran, died on December 11, 1934 in City Hospital from his injuries.

Constantine Perez
1917 - 1941

Perez was a member of the historic Creole Company No. 1 for 24 years. He died on December 7, 1941 when he was involved in a collision at Springhill Avenue and Catherine Street while enroute to the scene of a blaze near the Poor House. The fire truck, traveling west on Springhill Avenue in response to an alarm from Stanton Road, was knocked about 30 feet into the neutral ground in the center of the avenue. There it struck a smaller truck.

Louis B. Lathan, Jr.
1945 - 1971

Lathan a 49 year old firefighter and 26 year veteran, died of an apparent heart failure on March 23, 1971 after helping extinguish a grass fire at the end of Parham Street. He was the driver for Company No. 11.

John D. Willett, Sr.
1942 - 1971

Willett a 50 year old District Chief and 29 year veteran of the department, died on May 17, 1971, while battling a fire in the basement of Scott Paper Company. Willett re-entered the basement which was packed full of bales of scrap paper. The basement was full of thick smoke and Willett died when his air supply ran out.

Herbert P. Bosarge
1952 - 1971

Bosarge a 48 year old firefighter and 20 year veteran of the department, died while battling a house fire at 1429 Polaris Drive. He apparently suffered a heart attack while fighting the fire on June 18, 1971. He was the driver for Company 19.

Paul A. Husband
1967 - 2000

Husband, a 33 year old firefighter and 4 year veteran of the department, died on September 27, 2000, while attempting to board the cab of ladder truck 5 when he slipped and fell underneath the wheels of the moving apparatus.

Samuel W. Downing
1962 - 2007

Downing, a 45 year old Fire Service Captain and 22 year veteran of the department, died on June 30, 2007, after suffering a heart attack at the completion of his regular 24-shift.

When I am called to duty, God, 
Wherever flames may rage 
Give me strength to save some life
Whatever be its age, 
Help me embrace a little child 
Before it is to late, 
Or save an older person from the horror of that fate, 
Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout, 
To quickly and efficiently put the fire out, 
I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me, 
To guard my every neighbor and protect his property, 
And if according to fate - I am to lose my life, 
Please bless with your protecting hand my children and my wife.