Chicago firefighter John Minich died of smake inhalation and heat exhaustion shortly after rescuing people from a fire.


That was 1952.


In 2012, sixty years later, he got a headstone.  The Illinois Old Guard was there.,0,1465882.story


This story is about a forgotten Chicago Fire Department hero named FF John Minich, who died in the line of duty at age 44 back in 1952. According to newspaper accounts detailing the events of that tragic day, Brother Minich rescued 12 victims from a fire at the Argyle Hotel, then located at 1057 W. Argyle on the North Side, including a pregnant woman. Unfortunately, Brother Minich of E-128 collapsed shortly after the rescue and was transported to Ravenswood Hospital, where he eventually died from what was described as a heart attack and smoke inhalation. Although he was assigned to E-128, Brother Minich was working as the driver for Battalion 20 on the day of the fire and his untimely death. He is listed as an official Chicago Fire Department Line of Duty Death and his badge is displayed at the Quinn Fire Academy and his name also appears on the Stockyard Memorial. The daughter of the pregnant woman saved from the fire that day wanted to recognize the 60th Anniversary of her mother's rescue by honoring Brother Minich, only to discover that he was laid in an unmarked grave here in All Saints Cemetery. An extensive search has turned up no living relatives of Brother Minich, yet his sacrifice needed to be recognized just the same.  -Fred Vukadinovic