Skip to main content

St. Paul mourning deaths of three members of its fire department

Floyd Jones, Thomas McDonough and Michael Paidar all died in recent weeks.
From left to right: Jones, McDonough and Paidar 

From left to right: Jones, McDonough and Paidar 

The St. Paul Fire Department is grieving for three of its members, who all died in the last few weeks.

The department recently announced the deaths of Thomas McDonough, Michael Paidar and Floyd Jones.

The International Association of Fire Fighters and the St. Paul Fire Department recognize the deaths of McDonough and Paidar as occurring in the line of duty and are seeking benefits for their families.

Thomas McDonough

Following the same path as his father, firefighter Thomas McDonough started his career with the St. Paul Fire Department in 2015. He is a graduate of Park High School in Cottage Grove.

According to the Pioneer Press, McDonough was affected by things he witnessed on the job, causing him to lose sleep. Family believed McDonough began suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,

McDonough’s father encouraged him to seek mental health services made available to fire fighters. McDonough also went to counseling, but it was expensive and turned down his father's offer to pay for it. Family members agree that while more mental health resources are available for fire fighters than in the past, it still remains a challenge.

McDonough died by suicide on Aug. 24.

“Tommy was proud to be a Saint Paul Firefighter and we are blessed to be able to call him our Brother. He was beloved by all that were fortunate to know him. Soft spoken, hard worker, huge heart and always greeted you with a smile on his face,” an announcement from St. Paul Fire Fighters IAFF Local 21 reads.

A GoFundMe has been set up to support McDonough’s children.

Michael Paidar

Captain Michael Paidar joined the department in 2011. A former KSTP photojournalist, he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia – a former of blood cancer – earlier this year.

He was also a member of the Maple Grove Fire Department. Paidar died on Aug. 26 surrounded by family.

Paidar’s family is asking for donations to the St. Paul Fire Foundation in his memory. A funeral and visitation will take place on Thursday at Harriet Island in St. Paul.

“Large in stature and even larger in heart; Captain Paidar cared deeply about his family, his fire families, and the communities he served. His natural leadership and overall kind-heartedness will be deeply missed by all that had the distinct pleasure of working along-side him,” an announcement from the St. Paul Fire Department reads.

Floyd Jones

Fire Equipment Operator Floyd Jones joined the St. Paul Fire Department in 1992, retiring in 2014. He was a graduate of Central High School in St. Paul.

According to the Pioneer Press, Jones was a cancer survivor and regarded as a “trailblazer” in the department. Jones died unexpectedly in his sleep on Aug. 14.

Jones’s son also followed his example and joined the department. 

His funeral was held on Aug. 25.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves survive Knicks' second-half barrage to get back to .500

Karl-Anthony Towns' lay-in helped Minnesota get a win in The Garden.

FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

Charges: MN teen shot mom after dispute over meth

The girl's mother said there had been a dispute over methamphetamine.

bad roads, blizzard

No travel advised: High winds, whiteout conditions in NW MN

Zero visibility in parts of greater Minnesota Tuesday night.

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.


Man run over after parking dispute leads to road rage crash

The two groups fought about parking prior to the crash.

hwy 41 engler boulevard crash crop

Deadly crash shuts down small stretch of Chaska highway for hours

A driver crossed over the center median and hit another vehicle.

covid test 6

You can now order 4 free at-home COVID tests from the government

Tests will ship for free within 7-12 days, according to the White House.


Screen Shot 2020-01-21 at 9.35.17 AM

Man killed in St. Paul house fire identified as father-of-three

Justin Slanina died in the early hours of Saturday.

St. Paul's Karen community mourns after beloved member is stabbed to death

Paw Boh Htoo was reportedly trying to help her neighbor escape domestic abuse.

Thomas Harrigan

2 arrested in case of murdered St. Paul firefighter

Thomas Harrigan was shot in his home on Sept. 2.

Screen Shot 2021-12-06 at 8.05.11 AM

Minnesota firefighters mourn sudden death of colleague

Aaron Bidle of the Loretto Fire Department passed away suddenly Wednesday.

Daryl "Taddy" Drusch

Chief of Howard Lake Fire Department dies unexpectedly

Daryl "Taddy" Drusch passed away unexpectedly on Monday.

Red Wing mourns after unexpected death of former fire chief

Tom Schneider died suddenly on Saturday at the age of 55.

George Floyd

Minneapolis police identify 4 officers fired after George Floyd death

All four were fired less than 24 hours after the incident.