Officer John William Grubensky

Officer John William Grubensky

Oakland Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, October 20, 1991

John William Grubensky

Officer Grubensky was killed as he tried to evacuate a family from their home during a deadly firestorm. When his body was found, he was laying on top of a woman's body he was trying to rescue.

Officer Grubensky is survived by his wife, two sons, daughter, mother, and father.


  • Age 32
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Fire

Most Recent Reflection

View all 42 Reflections

Dear Officer Grubensky,

I was the last fire survivor to see you alive. I was waiting on Charing Cross and Sherwick Drive as you stopped the down coming cars. You opened the doors and let these people be driven to safety.

I was in the last group left when you stopped a pickup truck. I had a chance to go to your car or a truck driven by a women who could not speak English. Some people went to your car, my son went into the back of the pickup truck.

You helped me climb into truck. As our car moved away, I saw you walking back to you patrol car.

Our truck had to drive through fire to escape. Unfortunately, your patrol car did not.

Thank you for saving so many lives. You were the captain who left your ship last. What a hero! Doing your duty was the last thing you did.

Thank you.

Howard Matis
Oakland Hills Fire Survivor

October 25, 2017

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