CFDHISTORY ---›Line of Duty Deaths ---› 94William Greve

William Greve

Killed in the Line of Duty November 26, 1903

Fire Company Engine 10
Cause of Death Suffocation
At Fire Box Number 263
Incident Type Fire/Collapse
Incident Location Smith, Meyer & Schnier (621-627 West Front St)

Greve and the rest of his crew from Engine Co.10 were working with hose lines on the 1st floor of the
Smith, Meyer & Schnier machine company. The building was located at 621-627 West Front Street.
The back of the complex sat up against the banks of the river. The fire was spreading rapidly
through the building fueled by wind coming off the river. While working to extinguish the blaze the
roof, encumbered with a massive mobile crane used to move machines, collapsed. The weight of the
crane and debris caused the 2nd floor to collapse onto the first. Greve had been operating under
the crane and was caught in the collapse. Policemen and firefighters rushed to the scene to rescue
the firemen who were inside. The most seriously injured were the members of Engine 10. Greve
had been killed. His fellow roughneck James Keegan sustained a double fracture of his right leg
above the knee. Their lieutenant, Dennis Doherty endured a skull fracture and internal injuries.
Greve was the last of the men to be found in the debris. He had been pinned with his back to the
ground by heavy beams across his stomach and neck. It was believed that the smoke from the fire
coupled with the large volumes of water sprayed onto the pile to keep it at bay caused his
suffocation. Greve's wife and children lived across the street from the firehouse. When Engine 10
returned from the scene to quarters they were greeted by his children who asked where their father
was. Their question was answered by their mother, who after learning of her husbands fate, burst
from the doors of her apartment onto the street crying out in grief. Services were held at St Xavier
Church on Sycamore Street. Hose Wagon 10, which had carried Greve to the scene of the fire,
carried the body in the funeral procession to St Josephs Cemetery in Price Hill