Herbert T. Johnson, Commonly Referred To As Herbie, Was

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Herbert T. Johnson, commonly referred to as Herbie, was a Captain on the south side (District 5) Chicago Fire Department. He started his firefighting career in 1980 in the Chicago Fire Department. Throughout 32 years of being on the job, others appreciated him for his humor, positivity, and humble nature. Aside from his family of the fire service, he was married to his wife for 28 years, had 3 kids, and had 7 siblings; many whom became police officers or members of the Chicago Fire Department. He was awarded the Medal of Honor from the State of Illinois for rescuing several children in 2007 when he was a lieutenant. In an exemplary fashion, he never boasted about his awards and accomplishments; he would only invite his immediate family to…show more content…
The weather at the time was mostly cloudy at approximately 45 degrees fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 62 percent. Wind averaged to be about 10 miles per hour from the northwest. The Battalion Chief arrived in less than a minute to size up that there was heavy smoke coming from the front and rear of the attic with fire in the rear. At 1719 Hours E123 which was Herbies Engine arrives on scene. At this time BC19 assumed incident command and spoke with one of the occupants to be informed that everyone was out of the building. Herbie along with a firefighter (pipeman) advanced a 1¾ inch hose line to the second floor. Fire appeared on the stairwell because a firefighter opened multiple doors to the rear covered porch. That firefighter did not inform command or his commanding officer of what he had seen. This led to a delayed discovery that the entire stairwell was engulfed in fire. A captain on the first floor informed Herbie that there was fire in the rear covered porch and stairwell over the radio. There was no reply by Herbie to confirm he got the message, but companies carried on. Meanwhile, around 1723 Hours, E49 applies water in the rear attic window with a 2 ½ inch hose, SQ5 makes entry through the front door, and TL39 began cutting the first hole in the roof. All these steps almost immediately lead to chaos for Herbie and his firefighter. Ventilation was not being controlled and nobody knew exactly where Herbie was positioned. He and his pipeman

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