CFDHISTORY ---›Line of Duty Deaths ---› 32William Bierman

William Bierman

Killed in the Line of Duty December 20, 1892

Fire Company Engine 4
Cause of Death Skull Fracture
At Fire Box Number 87
Incident Type Fire
Incident Location 15th District School

Bierman fell from the 15th District School-House roof while fighting an attic fire in the school at Main and Buckeye. Firefighters had arrived to find fire in the attic and were not able to access the roof via ladders due to the location of the building. Positions were gained on the roof by climbing a rope through a skylight. Once on the roof firefighters found icy conditions and were forced to crawl to another part of the building so as to have a position to toss water into attic windows. When Bierman reached the roof his fellow firefighters had already moved to this other roof area. Bierman listened to firefighters who called to him to crawl due to the ice. He began to make his way to their position but the fire had died down and he was moving in darkness. He was not aware that there was a separation in the roof between he and his co-workers. One of the other firemen called out to warn him but it was too late. Bierman fell 4 stories to his death. Only an hour earlier he had waved to his wife and 5 children in their third story window as his company passed the residence en route to the fire.