Plot B, Section 7, Lot 7
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto
Early in the morning of July 10, 1902 members of the Toronto Fire Department turned out to fight a fire that had broken out in an old storage building owned by the P. McIntosh Feed Company, on George Street just south of Front. The three-storey structure, packed full of straw and hay, had been used for a time as a stable where many of the Toronto Street Railway Company’s horses were kept. By the time the first few firemen arrived on the scene, it was obvious that the blaze was going to be a bad one. Suddenly and without warning, the east wall collapsed onto George Street, burying beneath the tons of brick and mortar, three Toronto firemen. By the time their comrades were able to dislodge the trio of burned and broken bodies, David See, Harry Clarke and Adam Kerr were dead. Less than five minutes later there was another muffled explosion and this time the south wall buckled collapsing into a small laneway where two more firefighters, Walter Collard and Fred Russell were last seen. Again there was frantic digging. This time, the firemen uncovered two more mangled bodies. In total, five firemen had been killed fighting the stubborn McIntosh fire.
On Sunday, July 13, following a moving service in St. James’ Cathedral, the longest funeral procession in the city’s history moved west along King Street and north on Yonge to Mount Pleasant Cemetery where the remains of the five young men were interred. While two of the young men were originally buried in other areas of the cemetery, by September of 1903 all five were resting as they worked, together. (David See is in Plot B, Section 7, Lot 7, Harry Clarke in Plot B, Section 8, Lot 7, Walter Collard in Plot B, Section 8, Lot 6, Fred Russell in Plot B, Section 6, Lot 7, and Adam Kerr in Plot B, Section 16, Lot 6.) The McIntosh tragedy remains the worst loss of firefighters’ lives in the long and gallant history of the Toronto Fire Department.
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: An Illustrated Guide
Second Edition Revised and Expanded