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Don Joseph Billig

Assistant Chief

Assistant Chief Billig and members of the St. Cloud Fire Department Volunteer Division were dispatched to a report of a smoking generator at a road construction site. Firefighters discovered a problem with a dewatering unit being used at the site and contacted the contractor. Assistant Chief Billig and other firefighters stood by at the scene to await the arrival of the contractor. The contractor arrived at the scene and firefighters prepared to return to quarters. Assistant Chief Billig and other firefighters were outside of the vehicle replacing traffic control barriers. A firefighter observed a vehicle headed toward the crew at a high rate of speed. He shouted for the other firefighters to look out for the approaching vehicle. Two firefighters were able to jump to safety but Assistant Chief Billig was struck when the vehicle failed to negotiate the construction detour. Assistant Chief Billig was dragged under the vehicle, a full-size pickup, for 50-60 feet. Firefighters immediately rendered air and requested assistance. Paramedics at the scene treated Assistant Chief Billig until it was obvious that he could not be revived. The driver of the pickup fled the scene. He turned himself into police the next morning. The driver was charged with criminal vehicular homicide. Alcohol use and speeding were likely involved in the crash, according to law enforcement officials. The driver had 2 prior convictions for driving while intoxicated and 7 speeding tickets. St. Cloud Fire Department web site -
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Don Joseph Billig was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.

Department information

St. Cloud Fire Department, Volunteer Division
101 10th Ave. North
St. Cloud, Minnesota 56303

Chief: Bill Mund

View NIOSH Report

Age: 49
Rank: Assistant Chief
Classification: Volunteer
Incident date: October 27, 2003 23:22
Date of death: October 27, 2003
Cause of fatal injury: Struck By
Nature of fatal injury: Trauma
Activity type: Other
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Street/Road

Last updated: June 13, 2012