Tulsa Firefighters Killed In Line Of Duty Honored 100 Years Later

Tuesday, October 24th 2017, 6:17 pm
By: News On 6

The Tulsa Fire Department honored two firefighters killed in the line of duty 100 years ago.

A fire inside of the Mayo building in downtown Tulsa claimed their lives.

But to this day, their bravery continues to live within the hearts of the community. 

Ben Hanes and Ross Sheppard died while fighting the fire in 1917.

"They sacrificed and they actually saved about five people. They went back into the fire, and we had a stairwell collapse on them and they perished in the fire," said Victor Grimes, Tulsa Fire Honor Guard commander.

The department hasn't lost a firefighter to a fire since then. 

"We've always said we'd never forget when someone loses their life. We've not done that in 9/11 and we've not done that across the country, so it's no different here in Tulsa even though it was a 100 years ago," said Tulsa Fire Chief Ray Driskell.

TFD honored the men's sacrifice by recreating their funeral procession.

The family of Tulsa's first fire chief received a flag recognizing their loved one's service.

"It's wonderful that we can honor people like that and remember what's going on especially in today's society," said Andy Davis, his great grandson.

The procession traveled from the First Presbyterian Church to the Mayo building where the department dedicated a plaque in honor of Hanes and Sheppard.

"The firefighters here in badges today, they know what this is about. We're trying to teach the younger generation that when they come on the fire department that this is what you do and this is how you recognize people," Driskell said.

Since the fire, TFD has introduced improved fire safety codes, and Driskell said they will continue to find better ways to protect the community.rt