D. H. Chandler  

December  13, 1932  -  November 9, 1959 at age 27  

            "Picture taken while     in the Navy"           

Born :   in Rusk, Texas
Entered Fire Department :  July 1, 1958
Duty : 
Fire Fighter at Station 19  
Buried :
Lyons Sanders Cemetery, Cushing, Texas

Most rookie fire fighters hear about Chandler’s death early in their careers. Chandler died in a way beyond most fire fighters’ imaginations. He drowned by falling into a ship’s hold that was filled with gasoline. Even though he had been a diver in the U.S. Navy, Chandler had no chance of swimming in the non-buoyant liquid. On Sunday morning, November 8, 1959, the Amoco Virgina, a 150,000-gallon tanker and the pride of Amoco’s fleet, was loading gasoline at Hess Terminal located on the Houston Ship Channel. A worker who was loading the ship did not realize that there was a hole in the rubber loading hose which was leaking gasoline over the deck of the ship and into the water below. The volatile fuel was ignited by a lighted lantern on the bow of a passing tugboat and the ensuing fire traveled back to the deck of the Amoco Virginia. When the fire reached the ship, it followed the path of the leaking gasoline into its hold were a massive explosion followed, ripping a large hole in the deck. After about 16 hours, 500 fire fighters finally took control of and extinguished the blazing inferno. Seven men who were on the ship when it exploded perished and about 40 workers, including fire fighters, were injured. During the clean up phase of the fire, Jim Chandler slipped and fell into the gaping hole in the deck; death came instantly.

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