Los Angeles Fire Department
Historical Archive

In Memory of
Fireman Harry C. Powell
Engine Company 9
Appointed March 1, 1918
Died November 19, 1922
Crushed between apparatus
and Pacific Electric streetcar
while laying a line at fire.
808 West 10th Street

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Engine Company No. 9
916 South Santee Street

Source: LAFD Photo Album Collection
Circa 1921

On November 19, 1922,  Engine Company 9 responded to an alarm at 808 West Tenth Street.  On scene they found a small fire in a hotel.  The company was laying a supply line when Fireman Harry J. Powell, standing on the tailboard, was fatally crushed between the tailboard and a passing Pacific Electric trolley car.


Crushed While Paying Out Hose 
at Blaze in Tenth Street Hotel

    Horribly crushed by a Los Angeles Railway street car, H. Clyde Powell, aged 36, a fireman, of 332 Welcome street, was brought to the Receiving Hospital last night from his truck at Tenth and Figueroa streets, where he had been on a fire call with his company.  Powell was dead when lifted from the pavement by his comrades, who, inspired with the faint hope that life might still be in his body rushed him to the hospital.
    A detective sergeant immediately investigated the accident, with the intention of prosecuting the street car crew if it were shown that they were in fault. According to witnesses of the affair the fire truck was standing in Figueroa street when the car approached.
    Apparently believing that he had room to pass, the motorman proceeded by the truck at a slow pace.  Powell was upon the running board of his machine, intent on feeding out the hose line, and did not see his danger.  His head, body and legs were caught between the two vehicles and terribly mangled.  The body fell, crushed, to the street.
    Powell is married and has several children.  He was a member of Engine Company 9, stationed at Ninth and Santee streets.  The fire company was called out to extinguish a fire in the Alco Hotel, 808 West Tenth street, which was caused by the overflow from an oil heater.  The blaze was put out before it had done much damage.

The Los Angeles Times, November 20, 1922

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