Memorial Monday – Sitka Brush Fire/Explosion

Memorial Monday

Incident Date: October 12, 1941
Department: U.S. Army Fort Ray (AK)
Number of Line-of-Duty Deaths: 5

Army firefighters were fighting a brush fire on Japanski Island in Sitka, Alaska. The fire enveloped a warehouse containing 21 tons of dynamite. The explosion killed five firefighters staffing the base fire engine. One other service man was also killed in the blast. The marine, Private Thomas A. Baskom, who was a half mile away, was struck by a rock hurled from the blast site. At least fifteen others were injured in the blast by flying debris. The fire engine was also destroyed in the explosion.

Killed in the Blast




More About Memorial Monday

Memorial Monday is established to remember the sacrifice of firefighters who died in the line of duty before the National Memorial was created in 1981. On the last Monday of every month, a firefighter, or groups of firefighters, will be remembered through information located about the firefighter and their sacrifice.