On this day, 77 years ago Firefighter Luther Bonner made the ultimate sacrifice
February 20, 2020
On this day back in 1943, Seattle Firefighter Luther Bonner died
after attempting to rescue passengers and warehouse workers after a Boeing
prototype B-29 Super-Fortress bomber crashed into a meatpacking plant near King
County International Airport two days prior. This incident became known as the
Frye Packing Company Fire where a total of 32 people died, making it the
largest loss of life from a fire in our city’s history.
Firefighter Luther Bonner was 23 years old with less than a
year in the department and served on Engine 19. For 70 years his sacrifice was
largely forgotten, until retired Seattle Firefighter and historian, Dave Peery,
researched Bonner’s story to ensure he received a proper tribute. In 2017, King
County elected officials named the new aircraft rescue and firefighting station
after him while displaying a large mural of that fateful day.
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