Patrolman James G. Karl

Patrolman James G. Karl

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Thursday, August 12, 1943

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James G. Karl

Patrolman James Karl succumbed to burns sustained while attempting to rescue the driver of a gasoline truck that had crashed into the Belt Line Railroad Viaduct at 4600 West 16th Street.

Gasoline leaked from the truck and pooled around a stalled car. When the driver of the car attempted to start it, the gasoline was ignited and caused the gas truck to explode. The driver of the truck and Patrolman Karl, who was attempting to pull him from the truck, both suffered fatal burns. Seventee other bystanders also sustained injuries from the explosion.

Patrolman Karl was taken to a local hospital where he died the following day.

Patrolman Karl was survived by his wife, two children, and parents.


  • Age 32
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Fire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, August 11, 1943

accident scene

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you all for the kind words sent to my grandfather, my name sake. Though I never met him, I am honored to share his name and very thankful to CPD for recognizing him and others that have fallen in the line of duty.

James G. Karl II

January 5, 2021

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