Remembering Our Fallen
By Asst. Chief Gregory Taft, Retired
July 15, 2015: On June 28, 2015 at 9:29 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to a reported warehouse on fire at 3860 Blake Street. The first arriving companies found a dumpster on fire adjacent to the building. The fire was quickly extinguished, and crews began to check for fire extension. Engineer John Whelan and the crew of Truck 8 went to the roof of the warehouse to check for any fire extension. While operating on the roof, Engineer Whelan stepped on an unseen fiberglass skylight, plunging him through the roof and 25 feet to the floor below. Firefighters immediately converged on Whelan inside the warehouse, where they began treating his injuries. He was transported to the hospital in serious condition. On July 15, Engineer John P. Whelan III, age 46, succumbed to his injuries and left behind his wife and young son. Engineer Whelan became the 55th Denver Firefighter to die in the line of duty.