Remembering Our Fallen
By Asst. Chief Gregory Taft, Retired
October 11, 1891: The Rocky Mountain News headline read "One of Denver's Gallant Firemen Met Death in the Path of Duty This Morning." At 0430 hours, Box 124 rang out for a reported fire at Zang's Brewery at 3rd & Ruby Streets. Pipeman Horace Knight of Steamer 5 brought the heavy steamer out of quarters and the three horses were at full gallop. As they crossed the tracks at 19th & Bassett, the steamer jolted violently. Knight was thrown from his seat. As the steamer careened wildly down the street, one of the firemen on the tailboard looked around the large boiler only to find the driver’s seat empty. One of them was able to climb over the boiler and bring the horses to a stop. The men then retraced their route, finding Knight lying in the street near the tracks where the steamer had jolted so violently. Knight had been killed instantly in the fall.
Pipeman Horace Knight, age 21, was appointed to the department on May 28, 1891 and became the 2nd Denver Firefighter to die in the line of duty.
The City of Denver obtained a plot ground at Fairmount Cemetery to be used for Denver Firefighters who died in the performance of their duty. Horace Knight was the first to be buried there.
Steamer 5 was quartered at the fire house located at 1963 Chestnut St.; the photo is of Steamer 5 after relocation to the quarters at 1817 Blake St.
Photo courtesy of the Denver Public Library.