Michael J. (William M.) Ward  

  1895  -  December 21, 1929 at age 34  

 

Born : in Evansville, Indiana                
Entered Fire Department :
unknown
Duty :
Fire Fighter at Station # 14   
Buried :
St Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Evansville, Indiana, Section 9 Lot 69.  

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 killed instantly, while the other members of the crew were slightly injured. Ward who lived at Fire Station 14, was visiting the fire station 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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Updated information 2003

In December of 2002 I found that a fellow Houston firefighter was from the same town that Michael Ward was from.  The fire fighters name is Rob Kamman. I did not know that the past five years Rob had been trying to locate Wards grave in Evansville, Indiana.  In January 2003 Rob enlisted the help of the local fire fighters union and they were able to give us addition information on firefighter Ward.  On thing that was learned was that his given name was not William M. but it is Michael J.  We are currently in the process of obtaining documents that will help us in knowing more about the fire fighter who gave his life in the line of duty.

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