Firefighter Honour Roll

South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service
Record of Line of Duty Deaths 1862 – 2014

This page recognises those members of the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service and previous SA Fire Brigade members who have passed away in the line of duty. Their contribution to our service and to the South Australian community will always be remembered.

Early MFS firefighters and the Wall of Honour.

Name of Firefighter Details of Incident
Michael Davis
2 October 1884
Fireman Michael Davis on 22 May 1884 attended a fire in the premises of Pulsford and Company at Grenfell Street Adelaide. Michael enlisted with The Fire Brigades Board when it was established on 6 December 1883 and was a Fireman on Reel 2 at Adelaide Station. As a result of complications sustained at the incident Fireman Davis succumbed to a 'severe chill'. His death was recorded on 2 October 1884, and his funeral notice was published in the South Australian Advertiser on the 3rd and 4th October 1884. He was buried at the Roman Catholic Cemetery at West Terrace.
John Gardner
24 December 1886
Fireman John Gardner on 24 December 1886 attended a fire in the premises of Castle and Company at Rundle Street Adelaide. The fire was well developed when fire fighters arrived as no one thought to notify the Fire Brigade. John and two other firemen were inside the building when at the stroke of 8 o'clock (pm) the building collapsed. His badly burned body was recovered from the area the following day. He was buried at Mitcham Cemetery with much pomp and ceremony.
Albert Clark
24 December 1886
Fireman Albert Clark attended the fire on 24 December 1886 and was inside the building when it collapsed. He was pulled from under the building debris and was taken to a nearby hotel, where he recovered enough to walk to the Adelaide Hospital where he died. At his family's request, his funeral was much less of a public occasion than Fireman Gardner's.
Herbert Hedger
5 January 1914
Fireman Herbert Hedger on 5 January 1914 attended a fire at Buttery and Sons Furniture Factory at Rundle Street Adelaide. While fighting the fire he was burned about the face but he continued to work for several days until his health deteriorated to a point that he was taken to hospital where he died a few days later on 30 January 1914. At the time little was known about shock or smoke inhalation, the coroner scoffed at the idea that he could have died as a consequence of his injuries sustained at the fire on the 5th of January. His widow however was the first person to receive a compensation payout and as such his death was recorded as a LODD.
William Rickwood
26 December 1913
Superintendent William Rickwood on 26 December 1913 attended a fire at Pengelly's furniture factory at South Road Edwardstown. While fighting the fire he was thoroughly drenched and as a consequence caught a 'severe chill'. He was subsequently permitted to take his annual holidays but his health deteriorated and his death was attributed to a probable heart attack. At that time little was known about the complications associated with smoke and fluid inhalation into the lungs. The insurance company refused to compensate his widow who received a small payout from the Board.
Albert Greenman
26 April 1924
Fireman Albert Greenman on 26 April 1924 attended a fire on the ship City of Singapore at No.2 Quay, Port Adelaide. Fireman Greenman was 30 years of age and was stationed at Head (Adelaide) station. After initially believing the fire in No.4 hold had been contained a large explosion ripped through the ship. Fireman Greenman suffered severe head injuries at the time of the explosion. The examining doctor stated in his opinion death would have been instantaneous.
George Anderson
26 April 1924
Fireman George Anderson who was stationed at Port Adelaide also attended the fire on the ship City of Singapore on 26 April 1924 at No.2 Quay, Port Adelaide. Some time after the explosion it was identified Fireman Anderson was missing. On Sunday personal belongings and what appeared to be human remains were located close to No.4 hold where Fireman Anderson was last reported. These items were later identified as belonging to Fireman Anderson who was 22 years of age.
Jim Hickey
26 April 1924
Fireman Jim Hickey, who was stationed at Head (Adelaide) station also attended the fire on the ship City of Singapore on 26 April 1924 at No.2 Quay, Port Adelaide. During the search for Fireman Anderson it was identified Fireman Hickey was also missing. During the cleanup of the site, a worker in No. 4 hold located a fireman's axe-head and a battered helmet. These items were assumed to be Fireman Hickey's. Despite a thorough search, nothing to indicate exactly what happened to Fireman Hickey was discovered.
William Spragg
2 February 1952
Fireman William Spragg on 2 February 1952 attended a fire in the premises of Seller's joinery in Gouger Street, Adelaide. Fireman Spragg and another fireman were just inside a door to the premises when a senior officer became aware that the wall above them was unstable. The three of them rapidly withdrew, however Fireman Spragg was unable to escape from the collapse zone in time and took the full force of the collapsing brick parapet wall.
Noel Sprigg
31 May 1977
Fireman Noel Sprigg on 31 May 1977 attended a fire in the Centerpoint building on the corner of Rundle and Pultney Street, Adelaide. The fire was located in the basement of the building and access to the seat of the fire was difficult. Fireman Sprigg, who was 48 years of age, was among the first crews to arrive and he quickly used all his air in his breathing apparatus. He replaced his air set with a longer lasting oxygen re-breather and reentered the building. The Officer in charge of breathing apparatus, whose task was to keep a close check on men wearing the equipment, notified the Incident Controller that Fireman Sprigg should have exited the building. A search was initiated and Fireman Sprigg's body was located covered in debris and tangled in clothing. The Coroner identified that Fireman Sprigg died from cerebral anoxia caused by smoke inhalation.