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Christopher Towne


Lieutenant Towne was on duty as the company officer for an engine company. During the shift, the company responded to five incidents. Four of the incidents were fire alarms and one was a car fire. At approximately 11:30 p.m., Lieutenant Towne went to bed. At 1:18 a.m., Lieutenant Towne's engine company was dispatched on a box alarm. Crew members waited for a few minutes prior to their response but left without Lieutenant Towne when he failed to appear. Upon their return to the station, firefighters found Lieutenant Towne unconscious in his bedroom. EMS personnel quartered in the same station were summoned and found that Lieutenant Towne was dead. No resuscitation was attempted since Lieutenant Towne had obviously been dead for over an hour. An autopsy revealed significant coronary artery disease and the cause of death was arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease. For additional information on this incident, refer to NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation F2001-21. (fire department website (
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Christopher Towne 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

Detroit Fire Department
250 W. Lerned
Detroit, Michigan 48226

Chief: Percy Warmac

View NIOSH Report

Age: 52
Rank: Lieutenant
Classification: Career
Incident date: January 18, 2001 01:00
Date of death: January 18, 2001
Cause of fatal injury: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of fatal injury: Heart Attack
Activity type: In-Station Duties
Emergency duty: No
Duty type: Other On-Duty
Fixed property use: Store/Office

Last updated: January 10, 2018