Firefighter William W. “Biff” Barnes, assigned to Engine 17 of the Baltimore City Fire Department was killed while fighting a 9-alarm fire at the Tru-Fit Clothing Store located at 507 E. Baltimore Street. He and 5 other firefighters were killed when the roof and wall collapsed on them during the fire.
He was survived by his wife Mary, son William, and daughter Stephanie.
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.