THEODORE A. CURRIE AND PAUL R. WIDRIG KILLED IN LINE OF DUTY
Two Department members lost their loves while fighting a fire Feb.
22, 1972. they were Fireman II Paul R. Widrig, 25, and
Fireman II Theodore A. Currie, 34. The Department has
suffered a great loss in the death of these two fine young men.
Paul R. Widrig was born in Los Angeles December
6, 1947, and was appointed to the Department July 25, 1970.
He had been assigned to Battalion 13 since training, and worked at
Fire Station 33, "B" Platoon. He lived in Newhall
and is survived by his wife, Deborah, and an infant son, Ryan
Paul. Other survivors include his partners and a
brother. His father is retired from the Los Angeles Police Department.
His older brother is a Los Angeles policeman and his father-in-law
is a fireman specialist on the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Theodore A. Currie was born in Los Angeles June
7, 1937 and was appointed to the department November 24,
1962. He lived in La Mirada and had worked at Fire Stations
61, 51, 82 and 22 prior to his assignment to Fire Station 33,
"B" Platoon. He is survived by his wife,
Geraldine, and three sons: Steve, 15; Craig, 13 and Kent,
The tragedy occurred at the Union Manufacturing
and Distributing Co. fire at 241 West 116th Place. Four men
entered the building to attempt to cut off the advance of the
fire, when a ceiling area with light storage collapsed. The
other two firemen escaped, but Currie and Widrig were apparently
trapped in the debris of the falling ceiling. Intense heat
repelled all rescue attempts.
According to the Police Department, a burglary
had been committed at the scene shortly before the fire broke out,
and authorities believe that the fire was set to eradicate
evidence of the crime. Arson investigators are at work on the case.
Department records show that a large number of fires have occurred
in this area, some believed to be incendiary. Firemen have
been harassed in their work by small bands of militants, and no
this occasion rocks and bottles were being thrown at the firemen
as they fought the fire, and even during rescue attempts.
The fire was fueled by supplies stored in the building, and damage
is estimated at $100,000.