“Leonard Doyle was the Captain at Station 4. At age 37, he had 15 years on the department. He and his wife, Freda, lived with their four children at 2333 South Grand Boulevard.
On June 2, 1956, Captain Doyle was called to a fire in the shoe store on the street level of the Peyton Building that eventually went to a third alarm, working fifteen engines and eighty firefighters. Captain Doyle and six other firefighters were advancing a hose lead into the fire when the floor collapsed from beneath them, plunging them all into the basement. Some of the firefighters already in the basement were trapped and injured by the falling debris. Captain Doyle was crushed under a falling safe. Seventeen firefighters were sent to the hospital and twenty-five others were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
Many were injured trying to free Captain Doyle. Many of the men said it was the worst fire they had ever been to.”
The Spokane Firefighters Memorial Project will be placing permanent memorial plaques at the site of each Spokane firefighter’s line-of-duty death. Captain Doyle’s will be the first installment. For more information on this project call Greg Borg at (509)998-3617 or visit https://www.facebook.com/spokanefirefightersmemorialproject. The dedication time and place for each memorial follows: