Fallen Hero

George Wunderlich
Little Rock Fire Department - December 23, 1895

On Sunday December 15, 1895, a janitor's careless use of kerosene to start the stove fires, caused a fire at the First United Methodist Church, located at 8th and Center Streets.  About 7:30 am, Fire Chief Robert McKay and his men were battling the blazing church.  Just inside the structure, Captain James Robbins and firefighter George Wunderlinch were valiantly fighting the fire, when the slate roof fell in, causing several ceiling joists to fall in a cascade of debris.  Captain Robbins and firefighter Wunderlich were burned and pinned under heavy timbers, until they were rescued.  George Wunderlich was taken to his parents home at 1111 Rock.  In addition to his severe burns, George had massive head injuries, which caused him to slip in and out of consciousness.  He courageously hung on to life until 7:00 pm December 23, 1985.

He was the first paid Little Rock Firefighter to die in the line of Duty.

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