Lieutenant George Gottwald and five members of the same fire company lost their lives during a fire at the George Bent Bedding Company, which occurred in the early morning hours of February 5, 1898, during a collapse of the interior floors.
Lieutenant Gottwald was born June 25, 1866. He was employed as a clerk before he was appointed to the Department on May 24, 1889 and assigned to Engine 31 (Fireboat) in the North End. On September 16, 1890 he was transferred to Engine 15 (South Boston). On August 28, 1896 he was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to the double-engine company Engine 38/39 (South Boston).
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.