On Thursday, February 8, 1934, Captain Michael McLaughlin died in the line of duty while fighting a fire on Perry Street. He was overcome with smoke while battling the blaze, and was carried out of the burning building by his son, Wilson. (Wilson, also a firefighter, was known as “Slip.” ) Capt. McLaughlin was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, but efforts to revive him failed. Capt. McLaughlin had been a member of the Sandusky Fire Department for 32 years, having worked at Fire Station No. 5 for 28 years. A resolution by the City Commission of the City of Sandusky which honored Captain Michael McLaughlin is found on page 15 of the 1934 OBITUARY NOTEBOOK in the genealogy section of the Sandusky Library. It read in part: “Having been with the fire department for a great many years both as a member and a captain, he displayed a keen interest in the duties before him his every act and decision was marked by sincerity, courage and integrity which fact was demonstrated when he lost his life while serving his community in his line of duty.”
Capt. McLaughlin is buried in Section G of Oakland Cemetery, with his wife Ella, who died in 1940. A third name is also found on the McLaughlin tombstone, that of Delbert L. "Buddy" Allen, Jr., who died in 1944. The symbol from the International Association of Fire Fighters appears at the top of McLaughlin tombstone.
In downtown Sandusky, near the Erie County Courthouse, is a memorial which honors fallen firefighters. The names of several area firefighters who died while on duty are listed.