CFDHISTORY ---›Line of Duty Deaths ---› 99Henry G. Miller

Henry G. Miller

Killed in the Line of Duty February 02, 1904

Fire Company Engine 29
Cause of Death Crushed/Wall Collapse
At Fire Box Number 46
Incident Type Collapse
Incident Location Henry Nurre Co

Engine 29 arrived on scene and the company took up a position on the south side of the factory. Captain Davis, Lieutenant Bickel and Henry Miller were operating a stream from a "Y" shaped ledge of ground near a 15' hole at the foot of the factory. It was extremely cold and the men were quickly suffering the effects of the spray of icy water from their hose. Other lines were being operated from Plum Street. Water access had been made easy by virtue of the proximity of the building to the canal. Once holes were punched in the ice the water was easily drafted into the engines to supply the hose. Suddenly the warning of "collapse" was shouted across the fire ground. Patrolman Shaeffer recognized the precarious position of the crew of Engine 29 and he yelled to them to run. The men held fast. They did not want to drop their hose without first having it shut down but they were undermanned. A recent department directive required a man be taken from the companies and placed on watch in theaters during shows. With only 3 men they did not have a fourth to send to the engineer to shut the line down. The men called to a bystander to deliver the message but it was too late. Shaeffer watched as the bricks crashed down around the men. Once the shower of debris stopped men rushed in to find the crew. Lieutenant Bickel was found along the gutter of the building. Captain Davis and Henry Miller had been tossed into the hole under the ledge they had been working from. The men were quickly pulled from the hole and delivered to the hospital. Their families were notified as quickly as possible of the situation. Mary Miller, Henry's wife, received word of the collapse and she frightfully rushed to the hospital. As she arrived Henry died of his injuries. He had sustained a skull fracture and had been crushed by the falling debris. He died at 12:25am on February 2nd.