Aaron Loyola O'Brien  

September 15, 1906  -  December 20, 1929 at age 23 

 

Born :  in Texas                     
Entered Fire Department :
July12, 1929
Duty :
Fire Fighter at Station #19  
Buried :
Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section I, Plot 248, Space 4627 

The accident between Engine 19 and a Southern Pacific Railroad train that killed Fire Fighters O’Brien and Ward happened only five months after the same type of accident killed three Fire Fighters from Station 18. The previous accident caused the fire fighters at Station 19 to be very aware of railroad crossings, especially the one a few hundred yards from Station 19 on Gregg Street. Each time the fire apparatus pulled out of the fire station to the right, the first thing the driver did was to look down Gregg Street at the warning signals. The night of the accident, Station 19 received a call for a house fire at Quitman and Clark. As the driver wheeled his pumper out of the station toward the railroad crossing, he noticed that the warning signals were not flashing. Engine 19 began to negotiate the railroad crossing when it was hit by a train. Aaron O’Brien was riding on the side of the appartus working the siren and was thown off and died instantly. Four members of the crew sustain relativly minor injuries  William Ward was visiting the fire station off duty at the time the alarm came in and chose to ride Engine 19 to the fire when he was seriously injured and was taken to Saint Joseph Hospital where he died early the next morning.

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