Mitchel E. Spoth




North High School





Mitchel E. Spoth (1982) joined the Transit Volunteer Fire Company, now the East Amherst Fire Department, while he was still a student at North High School. Mitch enjoyed playing sports, particularly baseball, and played Lou Gehrig Little League throughout his childhood. He played on the varsity baseball team at North and as a senior, was recognized as the school’s most accomplished all around athlete by being named the “Spartan Super Star” of 1982.

After graduating from North, Mitch enrolled at Erie Community College where he played baseball and was studying business and accounting. In the early morning hours of November 3, 1984, Mitch and his fellow volunteer firefighters responded to an alarm on Transit Road at a retail carpet outlet. Mitch and his partner were manning a hose line at the front of the building when the roof suddenly collapsed and the building’s massive front overhang fell outward, burying the two firefighters under piles of concrete blocks and heavy roofing. They were pulled from the debris by their comrades and rushed to area hospitals.

Mitch’s partner, Frank Raquet, survived a broken back and paralysis. But after 69 days, Mitch succumbed to his injuries. The star athlete, who loved being a firefighter, was only 20 years old when he died. The fire had been deliberately set. The arsonist was caught and convicted on several felony counts, including manslaughter. Mitch gave his life in service to his community. His induction into the Wall of Fame is a tribute to all firefighters, especially the selfless, brave volunteers who serve our communities.