Learn more about each firefighter listed on the wall.
The History of the Memorial Wall
The memorial wall is located on the second floor of the museum along the south wall. The names of 75 volunteer firemen and 299 paid fire fighters of the Philadelphia Fire Department who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty are engraved on tiles that comprise the wall.
Above the wall is a stained glass window dedicated to the memory of these brave and dedicated fire fighters. At the base of the wall are display cases with brass plates with name, rank, company, and date of death hand stamped into the plate. The brass plates are made from the brass ring from the coupling of the hose used by the fire fighter at the time he was killed. The rings are flattened to allow the information to be stamped by hand. The tools and stamps used to create the plates are also included in the exhibit.
The earliest line of duty deaths on the wall date back to May 9, 1791. Twelve unnamed volunteer firemen lost their lives battling a fire on Dock Street near Third Street. The fire destroyed nearly two dozen homes and businesses. Extensive research has been ongoing for the last seven years. This research has uncovered another nineteen volunteers who lost their lives while performing their duties. The most recently discovered volunteer fireman was 21 year old John A. Enger of the Hope Hose Company who was severely injured while engaged in battling a building fire at Shippen & Swanson Streets. On August 13, 1858, while attending a steam fire engine that was pumping water from the Delaware River, Enger fell from the wharf and drowned. His name along with eighteen others will soon be added to the wall.