Line of Duty Deaths
Engineer Charles H Eicher
Waterloo Fire’s first on duty death was Charles H. Eicher, whose end of watch was on this date, December 19, 1911. The fateful call came is at 4 AM. Station 1 was notified of the fire by the security guard of the Hesalroad Shoe Store, 621 Sycamore, who ran to the station when he discovered the fire. Within 10 minutes of Eicher’s Chemical Engine arriving on scene, Engine Company Captain Louis Armstrong found Eicher’s body lying face down on the concrete, against a wall of the fire building. Chief Dunham, along with two other firefighters picked up his body and carried him to the nearby City Hall, where at 7:15 AM, died from his wounds.
Engineer Eicher’s last known whereabouts was on the roof of the building he was found lying next to. It is believed he tripped over a standpipe sticking out of the roof due to poor visibility from heavy smoke. Fire Engineer Eicher was a 5 year veteran or the Waterloo Fire Department
Engineer Edward H Knipp
Engineer Edward H Knipp died from complications brought on by excessive smoke inhalation from a fire at 609 Commercial St, on 11-21-136. While assigned to chopping a ventilation hole in the steel roof, Engineer Knipp was exposed to heavy black smoke. He finished his work, the fire was extinguished. Engineer Knipp drove his apparatus back to Station 1 and then began to repair a damaged throttle. Shortly after he returned, be began to cough up blood. He was taken to a doctor, who ordered him to the hospital. At 4 AM on the 22nd of November, he developed a fever, lapsed into a coma and died shortly after.
Edward Knipp was a 19 year veteran of the Waterloo Fire Department.
Firefighter Herman Otto
Herman Otto died May 21, 1940 due to complications from smoke inhalation from a fire at the Russell Lampson Building. A fire was reported at 5:45 AM in a 4th floor store room. The fire required several victims to be removed via ladder. A discarded cigarette is believed to be the cause of the fire. The fire call lasted around 2 hours. After Otto was back at Station 2, he collapsed after complaining about the smoke aggravating his ulcers.
He was 43 years old and left was survived by his wife, Meta and son Robert.