10/15/1962 a Manchester, NH firefighter died after he “led his company in stretching a line in on a fully involved garage fire, which was extending to a multi-family dwelling at 383 Laurel Street. He stated that he was going back to see what the delay was in getting water. After taking several steps, he collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.”
10/15/1972 a Richmond Hills, Queens, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of injuries sustained October 10th, while operating at a three-alarm fire.”
10/15/1977 a Memphis, TN firefighter died “while making an interior attack on an arson fire in a vacant lounge. Firefighters were forced to retreat when there was a sudden building up of heat and smoke. The firefighter apparently became disoriented during the retreat and became trapped in a room. He was found a short time later by brother firefighters and removed from the building, but was already dead of smoke inhalation.”
10/15/1984 the U.S. Postal Service Headquarters Building in Washington, D.C. was heavily damaged by a fire; the top four floors received the most damage. More than 200 firefighters worked two hours to control the fire. “It caused an estimated $100 million in damages and injured twenty-five firefighters. District of Columbia law required sprinklers in very few buildings.”
10/15/1951 Milwaukee, WI: “A Hampton Avenue resident had written the Milwaukee County Journal complaining about the “oil saturated, open air cesspool” conditions of Lincoln Creek on the City’s far north side, deserted even by turtles. The pollution there was real, and was not a novelty… First one agency, then another shrugged and turned away from the problem. That’s about what happened during October 1951, when a tank leak at the Schroeder Oil Co. at 4823 N. Teutonia, sent 70,000 gallons of No. 2 fuel oil spilling into the storm sewers to eventually reach Lincoln Creek… Dwellers along its banks, near Green Bay and West Lawn Avenues, saw a thick blanket of oil building up on the sluggish stream, and their disgust turned to fear as the lack of current kept the slick from moving away, while civic leaders passed the buck… After four days of suspense, the inevitable happened. During the morning of October 15, one unthinking resident began burning rubbish along the creek bank. Suddenly the oily surface erupted in flames, sending great rolling clouds of greasy smoke throughout the crowded neighborhood. A box alarm was called at 11:44am. was followed at 11:50 with a second radioed in by 6th Battalion Chief Herman Schwengel. When he arrived at noon, Chief Wischer skipped the third and fourth alarms, to call for a fifth, later special calling two more engines. Twenty firefighters with more equipment came in from Whitefish Bay, and the Town of Milwaukee… Flames spread to trees and garages along the banks. But the greatest damage came from the smoke itself, which ruined the interiors of homes, over a wide area. Foam was used on the creek itself – two tons of it, the entire local supply. Seven hours after 170 firefighters had gotten the main fire out, crews were still spraying water and chemicals on the creek downstream trying to sweep the mess away, aided by opening of the Estabrook Park Damn… Despite the ensuing angry recriminations, however, little was done to cure the situation. In February 1954, two engine companies spent five hours dissipating another 500-foot oil slick in the same spot. It happened again in October, the oil traced to storm sewer outlets at 35th & Congress. In 1971, the problem still remained.”
10/15/1910 Grenfell, SK a prairie (forest) fire: “The loss to farmers will be heavy, especially in the matter of feed, as many stacks of hay were destroyed.”
10/15/1907 Fontanet, IN the Du Pont Powder Company explosion left thirty dead, one-hundred injured, and eight-hundred homeless. The first explosion occurred in the glazing mill followed by two other mills. “At 10:45, ninety minutes after the first explosion, the heat from the burning mills exploded the great powder magazine situated in a hollow several hundred yards from the mills. It contained many thousand kegs of powder and the concussion was even greater than those from the explosions of the mills.”
10/15/1872 Kingston, ON the propeller ship China burned and sank with “300 tons of pig-iron and a quantity of merchandise.”
10/15/1851 “between four and five o’clock on Sunday morning, a fire broke out in the storeroom adjoining the Phoenix Hotel, on River Street, Troy, (NY) but was subdued quickly upon the arrival of the firefighters. Before the conflagration was discovered, a dense volume of smoke had penetrated the upper rooms, nearly suffocating some forty German lodgers, who were asleep at the time.”
10/15/1909 Key West, FL Hurricane, a hurricane struck the southern coast of Florida; Martial law declared, and the Key West guards took charge of the city, U.S. Government dispatched troops.
10/15/1954 Hurricane Hazel hit the Carolinas to Ontario.
10/15/2017 Retired Phoenix (AZ) Fire Chief Alan Vincent Brunacini passed away.