John Thomas Sayles

Captain Sayles and members of his fire department responded on a mutual aid structure fire in a neighboring community. While on the scene, Captain Sayles used a pike pole and a chain saw to remove heavy siding from the side of an old barn that had been converted into a residence. Captain Sayles performed much of the work above his head. The siding was removed to reveal a fire in the wall. Captain Sayles and other firefighters completed their work on the scene and returned to service after 1741hrs. On November 14, 2012, at 1755hrs, a 911 call was received from Captain Sayles’ residence. Captain Sayles had collapsed. He was transported to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a thoracic aneurysm. Eventually, the decision was made to transfer Captain Sayles to another hospital for treatment. During the transport his condition worsened and he died. Incident Location: 2419 W Washington RD, Hart, MI (USNG: 16T EP 5128 3895)

Department Information

Pentwater Fire Department
486 E Park ST
USNG: 16T EP 4611 4806
Pentwater, Michigan 49449

Chief: Terry Cluchey

John Thomas Sayles 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.
Age: 38 
Rank: Captain 
Classification: Volunteer 
Incident date: Nov 14, 2012 16:52
Date of death: Nov 14, 2012 
Cause of death: Stress/Overexertion 
Nature of death: Other 
Activity type: Other 
Emergency duty: No
Duty type: After 
Fixed property use: Residential