Lost in the Line of Duty
August 15, 1919
It was the evening of August 14, 1919. Around 7:00 pm, the night watchman at the Northwest Box Factory, at the foot of SW Lincoln Street, noticed a fire underneath the building. He turned in the fire at the nearest alarm box. The fire grew quickly. Fire Marshal Grenfell was one of the first chief’s to head that way. He stopped along the way to turn in a third alarm at an alarm box.
Truck 1 arrived and McCormick and his crew were assigned a position on a railroad trestle on the side of the building. The creosote soaked timbers of the trestle ended up catching fire and the trestle was starting to give so the crews scrambled to get off. McCormick got hit from the side by the hose being pulled back and it knocked him and several others off the trestle.
George Asher of Truck 2 went first while McCormick and Abraham Blond fell right after him. It was about 30 feet down. Asher and Blond broke some bones but McCormick hit his head. The crews worked hard to try and revive him but eventually transported him to Good Samaritan Hospital via the chief’s car.
McCormick died early in the morning on August 15th. McCormick was 42 years old and had been hired on August 3, 1910. He was survived by his Wife and three children, Frank Jr., Earl, and Mildred.
Portland Fire & Rescue honors and remembers
Firefighter McCormick's service and sacrifice.