Joseph M. Griffin, was a 48 year old Battalion Chief and had gone into a tenement at 179-181 Third Street, Passaic along with several other firefighters to fight the fire toward the rear of building when the entire building collapsed pinning the firefighters into the basement of the building, and he died along with 24 year old rookie firefighter, Sam Latona.
Joseph M. Griffin was born on April 18, 1921 in Weymouth, MA, the youngest of 6 Children.
He graduated Weymouth High School and moved to Passaic, NJ where he lived and worked at his brother-in-laws company.
He met Alice Struyk the daughter of Passaic Police Detective Cornelius Struyk.
He joined the Navy on September 16, 1942 during World War II and served on a “Sub Chaser” in the Atlantic and Pacific waters. He was discharged September 20, 1945 as a gunner’s mate 1/C.
On June 3, 1945 he married Alice Struyk and they resided in Passaic.
He joined the Passaic Fire Department on November 1, 1950. He was promoted to Lieutenant on March 1, 1959. He was promoted to Captain on June 20, 1962. He was promoted to Battalion Chief on January 15,1970.He was promoted posthumously to Deputy Chief on March 12, 2020 the 50th Anniversary of the fire that took his life.
He was survived by his wife Alice of 24 years and his 20 year old daughter Sharon.