Fire

The Cedar Rapids Fire Department honors the following employees who have died in the line-of-duty:

Charles Smith - July 30, 1890 - BCR&N Railroad Roundhouse
George Nelson - August 29, 1927 - Two fire trucks collided
Manual Vlach - December 30, 1927 - Lumber yard fire
Louis Kraut - March 30, 1934 - Truck and car accident
Robert Simon - May 20, 1976 - River rescue practice
Melvin Goebel - May 20, 1976 - River rescue practice
Kevin Sterenchuk - March 27, 2000 - Cardiac arrest

ROBERT SIMON AND MELVIN GOEBEL

On May 20, 1976, a river rescue training operation ended in tragedy. The exercise was being conducted above the roller dam south of the City on the Cedar River along Old River Road SW. The training exercise was upstream from the dam. A safety rope apparently came loose and the firefighters' boat went over the dam backwards. Robert Simon and Melvin Goebel were drowned, as they were thrown from the boat into the turbulent water below the dam. Training Captain Lannie Hatton became entangled in the rope and managed to stay with the boat. He maneuvered it to the south side of the river. He was helped to shore with the help of bystanders. The two firefighters, Simon and Goebel, disappeared into the water almost immediately and no aid was possible.

Other Deaths:

KEVIN STERENCHUK
"He has given his best. For our brother, the last alarm. He has gone home." - Fire Chief Steve Havlik
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JOSEPH BRAKEL
Cedar Rapids Firefighter Joseph Allen Brakel, 29, of Nora Springs, Iowa, died on November 25, 1999, after a 1½-year battle with cancer.
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DENNIS MALLOY
Lieutenant Dennis Malloy, 52, died Saturday, January 13, 2007, following a sudden illness. as a Cedar Rapids Firefighter for 20 years.
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BRETT HENDERSON
"He was very aggressive and intelligent. I knew he would accomplish everything he wanted." -Captain Dan Dall
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Contact Information
Cedar Rapids Fire Department
713 1st Avenue SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Phone: 319-286-5200

© 2016  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

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