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. His sacrifice remained largely forgotten for 70 years 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.