JOHN REILLY was born July 12, 1890 in Gloucester City, New Jersey to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph J. Reilly. The second of three children, his mother apparently had died in the mid-1890s. Joseph J. Reilly remarried around 1897, and two more children, Rose and Thomas were born. When the Census was taken in 1900 the Reilly family resided at 915 Carpenter Street. Joseph J. Reilly worked as a telegraph operator.
By 1910 John J. Reilly had left home to make his way in the world. By 1914 he had moved to South Camden, and was living at 1727 South 4th Street.
When John Reilly registered for the draft on June 5, 1917 he was still living at 1727 South 4th Street and working as a truck driver at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyards. He was unmarried at the time, however. By January 10, 1920 John Reilly had married. He and his wife Hazel were renting an apartment at 569 Mickle Street.
In the early 1920s John Reilly served in the United States Navy. His wife went to Freehold NJ. He returned to Camden in the spring of 1924 and got a job with the Camden Fire Department. He boarded at 931 Pearl Street, the home of brother Fireman Albert Raeuber. Albert Raeuber's family had lived at 933 Pearl Street since the 1890s. While not on duty John Reilly went about the business of securing a home for himself and his wife in Camden.
On January 19, 1925, Fireman John Reilly of Engine Company 4 made the Supreme Sacrifice in the line of duty. About 9:30 P.M. that Monday evening, Engine 4 turned out on a phone alarm reporting an oil stove fire in an occupied building at 924 North 2nd street, near North 2nd and State Streets in North Camden. The fire occurred in the residence of Max Koch, located above his grocery store, Upon arrival, Firemen John Reilly and Albert Raeuber carried a large copper portable extinguisher to the second floor. The flames were quickly extinguished and the nozzle closed. Suddenly, the fire extinguisher exploded like a bomb. Fireman Reilly was struck in the face by pieces of the fragmented appliance. He was killed instantly. Fireman Reauber sustained serious lacerations and bruises, requiring an overnight admission at Cooper Hospital.
Probationary Fireman John Reilly was thirty-five years old and a member of the Department for seven months. He had become quite popular among the members and neighbors of Engine Company 4.
Camden Courier - January 20, 1925
DIES IN EXPLOSION OF CHEMICALS
Carter - Charles Gladney -
Samuel Harring -
Albert Raeuber - Max Koch - North 2nd Street - Pearl Street - Engine Company 4
Camden Fire Fighters Fallen in the Line of Duty
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