On July 23, 1916, Firefighter James T. Glass was fatally injured at a fire that occurred at 412 Congress Ave. at the Kriesle Building. Glass was paralyzed by a wall and stairway collapse. For over a year, he laid in a bed in Brackenridge hospital until his death on August 17, 1917. Fire Chief Clarence Woodward retired James Glass’ badge, which was Badge #13. The Austin Fire Department does not have a Fire Station #13 and has never had an Engine #13. Earlier this year, the Austin Fire Department renumbered Engine 50 in honor of James Glass. In addition, during the Austin Fire Department’s annual San Jacinto Day Celebration and Awards Ceremony, Firefighter Glass was posthumously awarded the AFD Medal of Honor for being killed in the line of duty.
During the Austin Fire Dept. Museum’s research for James Glass’ medal of honor, it was found that Glass was never given a headstone and has been in an unmarked grave ever since his death 93 years ago. Upon this discovery, the Austin Fire Museum immediately began the process of purchasing and designing a headstone for Glass.
On August 17, 2010 at 1000AM, The Austin Fire Department and the Austin Fire Museum will honor James Glass’ sacrifice with a headstone unveiling ceremony. AFD Honor Guard and an AFD Bag Piper will officially unveil the granite headstone with attached bronze badge #13. Firefighter Glass is buried in the Walnut Creek Baptist Cemetery on N. Lamar Blvd. in North Austin.