Remembering St. Paul’s fallen firefighters

You can count us among the big fans of signs going up around St. Paul honoring members of the city’s fire department who died in the line of duty.

The signs mark the location where a firefighter died.

As it happens, this sign went up in the last few days at the corner of Cedar and West Seventh, better known, perhaps, as the World Headquarters of NewsCut.

Julia Schrenkler | MPR News

The signs, which were first proposed early last year, don’t tell you much, however. But that’s what blogs are for.

According to the Minnesota Fire Service Foundation:

Louis Kieger, 67, Captain Engine No. 9 he served the department for thirty five years. Injured at fire at Husch Bros., 7th & Cedar Streets – May 24, 1919. Tripped and fell, receiving injuries from which he died on May 28.

Louis Kieger, who died a martyr to duty and who is placed on the list of those who died “in harness” had slipped on a hose and fell to the pavement suffering a severe abdominal injury causing his death.

He was born in Alsace-Lorraine, and came to Saint Paul 50 years ago. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, Marie and Clara, and four sons, Albert, Frank, George, and Louis

There is little account available for details of the blaze. The fire caused about $100,000 in damage, however, and injured more than two dozen people. That’s nearly $3 million in today’s dollars.

But Husch Brothers lived on through at least 1950.

Minnesota Historical Society

It’s all gone now, of course. The only thing to remind us that Louis Kieger was ever here is a new sign at an old location.