107 Years Ago: The Last Alarm for LAFD Captain J. Clinton Johnson

Sunday, February 12, 2012 |

Chief Engineer Moore of the Los Angeles Fire Department was in his headquarters office at the Hill Street station when he heard the six strokes of the alarm gong, followed by a pause, then four more clangs.

Knowing the district and fearing the worst, Moore ran for his buggy and left with the first alarm companies. Turning right from Hill onto First Street, Moore saw a solid column of smoke and flames. What he had been expecting for years was now happening.

The massive wind-driven fire at the Los Angeles Farming and Milling Company would lead the deaths of four civilians, and prove injurious to a well-respected Captain who would succumb to his injuries six years later...

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Los Angeles Times, February 13, 1905

Captain J. Clinton Johnson
Capt. J. Clinton Johnson of the No. 8 Engine Company Succumbs to Disease Caused by Exposure Incident to His Duties as a Fire Fighter.

Capt. J. Clinton Johnson of the No.8 engine company, one of the best men in the Los Angeles Fire Department, died at 8:30 o'clock last night at his home, No. 2630 Peabody Avenue, after an illness of many months, directly due to exposure to which he was subjected in his line of duty.

Had he lived until next May he would have been eighteen years a member of the department, and during that period he has seen it grow from a small beginning to one of the best equipped and most efficient in the West, and he has helped to conquer some of the most serious fires which ever broke out in the city.

The illness of Capt. Johnson dated from the tragic fire on Commercial and Alameda streets six years ago, when the plant of the Los Angeles Farming and Milling Company was destroyed and four men lost their lives. He was on duty for forty hours without rest and... (read more...)
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To learn more about our Brother Clinton and other members of our Department who have paid the ultimate price in their service to the City, visit the LAFD Museum and Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Hollywood or click:

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


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