Robert D.J. La Rochelle – Plaza Fire Image

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Robert started with the Toronto Fire Department on August 9, 1957, and retired on June 4, 1989. His badge number was 566. The picture was apparently taken at the Plaza Hotel Fire.

Words from his son Scottie –

“Further down the list is an iconic picture of a firefighter holding a young child. It is titled: Mr. LaRochelle. That would be my father, Jack R.D.J. LaRochelle. The picture is from the Plaza Hotel fire, it won many awards. The picture also makes the point that he worked for Toronto.. not Scarborough. But he/we lived in Scarborough and he loved the city. The family proudly tells others that we were born and raised there.
Yes, he truly loved being a firefighter. He turned down many Captaincies offered to him, because “I won’t get to drive the truck anymore”. He often told us that we could never tell anyone but, he would have done the job for free! Journalist Mark Bonokoski (Sun) did a story about “the picture”(20+ years later) as my dad was dying. He never found the young boy but was so touched by the story, he wrote a follow-up story upon dad’s passing.”