The fire was on Valentines Day in 1962. Friday was the anniversary of that Line of Duty deaths of Chicago Fire Battalion Chiefs Thomas Hoff and Robert O’Brien in a 4-11 fire on Chicago’s South Side. As well known Fire Buff Jim Regan from Chicago wrote: “I can just imagine how proud Chief Hoff would be of his 2 sons who entered the CFD, Ray who retired as a Battalion Chief and has since passed away, and Bobby who is now retired as CFD’s Fire Commissioner (who went on to be a suburban Chicago area Chief as well as a nationally recognized instructor), and his grandson Andy Hoff, Bob’s son, a member of the Downers Grove FD”
On February 14, 1962, two Chicago Fire Department chiefs died in the line of duty at an apartment building fire on E. 70th Street. Chief Robert J. O’Brien, head of the fire prevention bureau, and Battalion Chief Thomas A. Hoff, the Assistant Drillmaster for the CFD training school, were killed when the fire-weakened building collapsed.
Chiefs O’Brien, Hoff, and Firefighter Frank Conley were on the third floor of the building and were a few steps away from escaping onto an outside porch when the roof collapsed. They fell with the debris down to the basement where they were trapped in the wreckage. Firefighter
Edward Stack, Hoff’s driver, was also on the third floor when the building collapsed, but he was able to roll out a door on the first floor as he fell with the debris. Stack later described how they had seen the ceiling start to crack and had heard the shouts from outside to evacuate the building, but when the west wall buckled the third floor gave way and the ceiling collapsed on them before they could reach the porch.
==REMEMBERING 3 FF’s: A DWELLING FIRE ON BRICELYN STREET IN PITTSBURGH:
Brooks, 42, Conroy, 43, and Kolenda, 27, became separated from other crews when a stairwell inside the home collapsed. At the time, other Firefighters and Officers didn’t know the three were trapped and possibly unconscious until it was too late.
BRICELYN STREET FIRE REPORTS HERE:
NFPA REPORT: https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Resources/Fire-Investigations/pittsburgh.ashx?la=en
The Secret List 2/14/2020-0003 hours