Humboldt Bay Fire Battalion Chief Kent Hulbert drives the 1920s Eureka fire engine out of the historic station in downtown Eureka on Thursday. Hulbert said it’s the exact engine Leonard N. Winslow rode before his death in 1934.
Humboldt Bay Fire Battalion Chief Kent Hulbert drives the 1920s Eureka fire engine out of the historic station in downtown Eureka on Thursday. Hulbert said it’s the exact engine Leonard N. Winslow rode before his death in 1934.
Eureka Fire Department Engineer Robert Brown “Smokey” McGillivray died on May 11, 1964. He suffered from lung and heart issues related to his 36-year firefighting career.
Eureka Fire Department Engineer Robert Brown “Smokey” McGillivray died on May 11, 1964. He suffered from lung and heart issues related to his 36-year firefighting career.

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For the past six months, Humboldt Bay Fire engineer David Terry poured hours and hours into researching the department’s old logged archives, news clippings and reaching out to family attempting to turn rumors into fact. In the department’s history dating back to 1934, Terry found five local firefighters who died in the line of duty.

“I’ve always heard rumors that we had guys that worked here that had died in the line of duty and nobody knew names or dates or what happened, it was all kind of rumors or myth,” Terry said. “… I thought it was pretty important that we figure out exactly what happened, who these guys were and what in fact actually did occur.”

The five will be recognized Saturday in this year’s California Firefighters Memorial Ceremony in Sacramento.

Eight Humboldt Bay Fire firefighters are headed to Sacramento to pay their respects for the five firefighters being added to the California Firefighters Memorial wall. The five Eureka firefighters who died in the line of duty will be a part of the 31 firefighters being added to the wall Saturday, California Professional Firefighters spokesperson Carroll Willis said.

The five men will join Eureka firefighter Kenneth James Voss who died in 2004 and whose name is already inscribed in the wall.

“It means a lot to firefighters because it’s a way for them to remember their brothers and sisters on the front lines,” Willis said.

This year marks the 15th annual memorial ceremony, Wills said, noting the wall started…