In Memory Of
Captain Loren J. Michel
who gave his life in the line of duty.
August 5, 1965
On Thursday August 5, 1965 at 2:57pm the City of Batavia Fire Department received several calls reporting a fire at 402 Bank Street. Captain Loren Michel was in charge that day and entered the home without a mask, a common practice in 1965. According to the Batavia Daily News, Chief Brocker said that Captain Michel had suffered minor burns to his chest.
After Captain Michel exited the house he sat under a tree as Firefighter Frank Huburt gave him some oxygen. Wilbur H. Hinz of Alexander who had been president of the Western New York Volunteer Fireman's Association and close friend arrived and offered to take Captain Michel back to the station to rest. While on the way back to the station Captain Michel thought he should go to the hospital for some more oxygen.
Upon his arrival at Genesee Memorial Hospital Captain Michel walked in under his own power and asked Hinz to tell his wife that he had gotten a little smoke and would be home in a little while and not to worry. By the time Hinz had returned to the hospital Captain Loren Michel had died of his injuries.
Captain Loren J. Michel was born in Batavia March 22, 1911 and received permanent appointment to the Fire Department on February 1, 1941. He was promoted to Captain on April 1, 1962. As reported in the Batavia Daily News on August 6, 1965 Captain Michel was the "best known city fireman in Genesee County". In March of 1965 the Captain was named "Fireman of the Year" and honored for 17 years of service as a mutual aid instructor for Genesee County. At the time of his death Captain Michel was survived by his wife Ruth and daughter Carol.
The current site of City Fire Headquarters at 18 Evans Street holds a plaque in memory of Captain Michel.