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August 20, 2017

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Updated On: Mar 31, 2010

P8 - Firefighter/ADO Eugene McDonough

Firefighter McDonough was a Manchester-By-The-Sea, MA native who relocated to St. Johnsbury after graduating from high school. He had a background in the culinary field and was past owner of Reed Supply Co. in St. Johnsbury. He was hired onto the full time staff in the early '90's and was promoted to Acting Duty Officer. Gene is the only member in the history of St. Johnsbury Fire Department who lost his life fighting a fire.

THE FIRE

Late in the night on Friday september 4th, Fire Alarm received a call for a fire at the PMI Warehouse in Lyndonville. On arrival they called for mutual aid from St. Johnsbury and several other towns and reported a heavily involved fire in the building. St. Johnsbury reponded with Engine 3 with Captain Rivers, Firefighter Richard Reed (retired), Firefighter Brown, and Firefighter McDonough. They went to work in a defensive position outside of the building manning a 2.5" hoseline and were directing the stream into the building. The large doors on the front of the building closed on them preventing the water from getting onto the fire so Firefighter McDonough re-opened them. When he returned the doors closed once again so he re-opened them a second time. When he turned to walk back to his position a collapse occured causing the extrior wall to tip out, and the parapet constructed of brick crashed down on McDonough. During the collapse the fire severed a propane line and directed fire over the top of the debris pile but members bravely rushed in to dig him out. They removed Gene and administered CPR until Lyndon Rescue could arrive to continue treatment and transport him to NVRH. Despite valiant efforts by the firefighting crew, EMS and the hospital, his injuries proved fatal.


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