Captain John Devenport, of the Paterson Fire Department, along with four other firefighters, were killed in a wall collapse at the 4th alarm Quackenbush Warehouse fire on March 12, 1938. At the time of the collapse, the firefighters were making a plan to pull it down, as they knew it was in danger of falling. This was the greatest tragedy in the fire department’s history.
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.