On June 17, 1972, a fire broke out at the Hotel Vendome on Commonwealth Avenue. It would be the first of four alarms required to extinguish the raging fire It took nearly three hours to stop the blaze. Firefighter Thomas Beckwith, along with eight other firefighters were killed without warning from a collapse during overhaul.
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.