10/21/1900 “shortly after midnight a fire broke out at the 4-story, wood frame, A. B. Hinman packing plant on Vandalia Street 200 feet north of University Avenue in Saint Paul, MN. A southwesterly wind fanned the flames, the fire quickly extended to an adjacent icehouse and a single-story building owned by the Northwest Lime Company. By 2:00 a.m., the fire had spread to a large 3-story brick warehouse owned by the McCormick Harvester Company full of packing crates and heavy machinery. Fire crews worked hard to establish water supplies from the few available hydrants in the area. Long hose lays were required. Extra companies were summoned. Around 2:45 a.m., the top floor of the McCormick warehouse collapsed, causing the south wall of the building to topple outward. Eight firefighters were buried under the debris, including heavy farm machinery was mixed in with the bricks and beams. It took 9 hours to dig out the buried firefighters. Three escaped without serious injuries, four died on the scene, and one died from his injuries 3 days later.”
10/21/1939 a Bronx, New York (FDNY) firefighter died of critical burns he sustained October 19 when he was caught in a flashover at a single-alarm fire. “He suffered second degree burns to his hands and face while operating at 1330 Brook Avenue. This was the third fire in the Bronx at the same time just before midnight. The fire started in one of the third-floor apartments when a woman was using benzene to clean beds and lit a match to see if her work had been effective. Several other apartments received some damage and left twenty-four families homeless. When first brought into the hospital his injuries were not thought to be serious until the next day. He died from the effects of smoke poisoning and the burns he received.”
10/21/1949 a California Department of Forestry firefighter “died from the injuries he sustained while operating at a fire.”
10/21/1964 a San Francisco, CA firefighter “was fatally injured while operating at the Morris Plan Building, at Market Street.”
10/21/1947 Care-of-Aged facility fire killed twenty-eight in Hof, Germany.
10/21/1910 a massive explosion from a bomb destroyed the Los Angeles Times building in the city’s downtown area, killing twenty-one and injuring many more.
10/21/1891 Childress, TX County Courthouse was destroyed by fire.
10/21/1883 Brooklyn, NY a 2:30 p.m. 20-horsepower upright lumber mill boiler explosion on Nevins-Street, between Baltic and Butler Streets killed one man. “It is supposed that he found the water in the boiler quite low and that he turned on cold water.”
10/21/1868 an Earthquake struck San Francisco at 7:53 a.m. followed by a second shock at 9:33 a.m. four persons were killed. Successions of slighter shocks were felt throughout the day. The chimney at Howard and Fremont Streets of the San Francisco Gas Works was collapsed; the custom house was destroyed; several other buildings were wrecked. It is estimated it would measure 7.0 on the Richter Scale.
10/21/1833 Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, was born in Stockholm, Sweden. “Dynamite is an explosive based on the explosive potential of nitroglycerin, initially using diatomaceous earth (kieselguhr) as an adsorbent. It was invented by Swedish chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel in 1866 in Krümmel (Germany) and patented in 1867.” “When he died in 1896, Alfred Nobel left behind a nine-million-dollar endowment fund. The Nobel prize is awarded yearly to people whose work helps humanity.”