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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Firefighter
Age: 46
Year of Death: 1952

Arthur Sink

On August 27, 1952, at 10:18am, an alarm came in for two Town of Irondequoit sanitation workers (Carl VanSchaik & Earl Richmond) overcome by gas fumes in a manhole at Helendale Rd and Druid Hill Park. Fearing noxious gas, Laurelton Firefighters Arthur Sink & Bernard Bauman put on Chem-Ox masks and attempted a rescue. Unfortunately, these masks (the best the fire service used at the time) were unable to keep the men from losing their own lives. Both rescuers lost their lives in a selfless attempt to save others. Rochester Gas & Electric workers had to recover the bodies of the four men because they were the only company using Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA’s). The investigation that followed showed that it was lack of oxygen, not the gas that took all four men’s lives. The filter-type masks that the firefighters used offered no protection for this lack of oxygen. SCBA’s are now universally used throughout the fire service.

Arthur E. Sink joined the Laurelton Fire Department on September 8, 1925. Arthur was a Charter Member of the Department, became a Career Firefighter with the department in 1936 and served the Fire District for nearly 27 years. At the time of his passing at only 46 years of age, Arthur was survived by his wife Margaret, two daughters Marcia 20 years of age and Suanne 15 years of age. Arthur also had three sisters.

This firefighter line of duty fatality occurred before the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial was built in Emmitsburg, Maryland. While this firefighter has not been officially honored at the Memorial site, there are plans to do so when resources are available.

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