Fireman Hugh J. Travers
Fireman Hugh J.
Travers, 32, was killed during an early morning fire, November 23, 1947
at the Harold Furniture Company, 1315 Wilshire Blvd. The $50,000
fire seemed to be under control when a sudden flashover caught Travers
just inside the front door. Harold V. Asher and Jack L. Hudson,
also assigned to Salvage 28, were seriously burned.
Fireman, Night Watchman
Killed in Wilshire Blvd. Blaze
Dog Saves His
Master's Life in
early morning fire in a furniture store at 1315 Wilshire Blvd. caused the deaths
of two men yesterday and resulted in damage to the building and its contents
estimated at $50,000.
The dead men were Fireman Hugh Travers, 32, of 1081 Rio
Grande St., Pasadena, and Vance Norlick, 58, a night watchman, of 109 S. Hills
St. Travers succumbed when he was caught in a back draft. Norlick was
trapped in sleeping quarters at the rear.
Two other firemen, Harold Asher, 412 W. Gage Ave., and Jack
Hudson, 740 W. 107th St., taken to Georgia Street receiving Hospital.
Dog Saves Master
building, occupied by the Harold Furniture Co., was gutted by the
flames. Stanley B. Rybkowski, 54, a night watchman who resided on the
premises, narrowly escaped with his life when his dog Zip tugged at him and
awakened him in time for him to make his way out of the smoke-filled store.
Norlick, Rybkowski's brother-in-law, was visiting Rybkowski
for the week-end. They had gone out Saturday night for some food and
beer. Rybkowski said, and upon returning had retired in quarters at the
"I felt my dog tugging at me." the night watchman
said. "When I woke up and smelled smoke, I called to my
brother-in-law. I ran for the telephone to call the fire company.
He shouted he couldn't find his pants. He couldn't see good. I
told him to forget his pants and follow me. But I guess he couldn't find
The quarters in which the two men were sleeping were
windowless and doorless. Exit lay through a labyrinth of
furniture. Norlick's body was found huddled in a corner behind a stack
of charred furniture.
Rybkowski's reunion with Zip, the dog he obtained from the
city animal shelter, was tinged with emotion, firemen said. The husky
man hugged the dog to him and told how the dog had paid a life for a life.
"I saved him from bring gassed at the pound," the
night watchman said, "and now he saved me"
The firemen, members of Salvage Co. 28, were trapped in a
back draft when they entered the building where the fire supposedly already
was checked. Unburned gasses in the store ignited. Asher and
Hudson made their way out, but Travers failed. His body was found in
debris near the front of the building.
Rybkowski was booked on suspicion of arson pending an
Times, November 24, 1947
Love Hath No Man Than This"
Fireman, Fire Department
City of Los Angeles
Born December 23, 1915; appointed to the department March
28, 1942 and died November 23, 1947. Fireman Travers was
burned to death in a fire which occurred at 2:20 a.m. November
23, 1947 at 1315 Wilshire Boulevard. This member gave his
life heroically performing his duties and in the best tradition
of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
I N M E M O R I
TRAVERS Fireman on active duty at Salvage 28 B was
killed November 23, 1947 while fighting a fire in a Wilshire
Blvd. furniture store. Born in South Dakota December 23,
1915. Appointed fireman Los Angeles Fire Department March
28, 1942. Went on Military Leave in the latter part
of 1942 and served with the United States Army Air Forces.
Returned to the Fire Department in 1945. Funeral services
held November 25, 1947 at the Utter McKinley Cresse Mortuary in
Eagle Rock with Chaplain Joseph R. Hoffman officiating.
Interment in Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
The Firemen's Grape Vine
The Harold Furniture Company Fire
1315 Wilshire Boulevard