Today we have posted the story of the 15th known Line-of-Duty Death in Marin County, occurring on January 2, 1978. Larkspur Volunteer Fireman (as they were called then) Jim Niven responded as the officer to a reported structure fire in the Greenbrae Convalescent Hospital on South Eliseo Drive. Third-due, the open-cab Engine 1 and it's six firemen including Jim never made it - crashing while enroute. Jim was a third generation businessman and left behind his wife Lorraine and two young daughters, Cynthia and Patricia.
At the time 43-year old Jim was President of the Larkspur Chamber of Commerce, and was the head of the Niven Nursery Company, a long-time producer of roses and orchids. Larkspur Station 1 (now called Station 15) was named in his memory, and an annual college scholarship is given in his name by the Larkspur Association of Volunteer Fireman (later renamed to '...Firefighters' and in 2015 to the Larkspur Volunteer Fire Foundation.)
Read about his death in our Line of Duty Deaths section, and look forward to his biography coming soon. Thanks to retired Larkspur Chief Bill Lellis for his personal account of this accident, and to Brian McLeran for the on scene photographs he shared.
Our Blog announces new site content, and gives the context of the topic and it's relationship to fire service history. Written by Tom Forster.