11/15/1942, six firefighters were killed and forty-three injured in the Luongo Restaurant fire, in East Boston. Many were trapped under debris for hours after a wall collapsed without warning and after the fire was declared under control; the “Old Armory” building stood in Maverick Square on Henry Street, near the subway station. The fire started in the rear of restaurant on the 1st floor at 02:26 hours and went to a 3rd alarm. “On November 15, 1942, a large fire occurred at Luongo’s Restaurant in East Boston. The fire started on the first floor, in the rear of the restaurant. The Fire Department received a call reporting the fire at 2:26 a.m. At 2:27 a.m. the East Boston companies were notified and responded from their fire station a few blocks away. The second alarm was sounded at 3:04 a.m., when the fire seemed to be making headway. The third alarm was sounded at 3:24 a.m. Then at 4:15 a.m., without warning, a structural wall collapsed, trapping firefighters in the building and burying Ladder 8. Fourth and fifth alarms were sounded to help in the rescue effort and to fight the fire which had gotten a fresh start after the collapse and killing six of the men who were working on the second floor. The fourth and fifth alarms were struck to bring additional manpower to the scene for rescue operations. After the collapse the fire gained in intensity and spread to several other buildings. Some of the injured did not return to duty for a year. After hours of arduous digging, the bodies of the six men were found. He was supposed to be off the day of the fire, but had changed his schedule in order to use his time later. One firefighter was trapped under tons of rubble for 11 hours. Fellow firefighters had tunneled into where he lay, but he was too heavily pinned to get him out. They encouraged him to hang on for a little while longer, but by the time they were able to get him out, he was already dead.”
11/15/1891 a Cleveland (OH) firefighter died as a major fire erupted in a commercial block and spread to ten other buildings in the downtown section of the city after becoming trapped under falling debris while working at the Scott & Foreman Company building.
11/15/1915 a Bronx, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of the severe smoke inhalation sustained November 6th, while operating at a fire.”
11/15/1923 a Columbus, OH firefighter “died as a result of injuries he sustained on November 11th, when he fell 30 feet from a ladder while operating at a fire.”
11/15/1984 Phoenix, Arizona a worker cleaning a toluene tank at a small petroleum bulk plant was overcome in the tank; during rescue operations, the power saw with a gasoline engine caused an explosion that killed one firefighter and injury to sixteen others. The worker had died of asphyxiation and inhalation of toluene vapors.
11/15/2008 a Detroit, MI firefighter “responded to an incendiary fire in an abandoned house fire. He and several other firefighters were putting out hot spots in the attic. The roof collapsed trapping the firefighters. The firefighter was crushed by the debris. He was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries. The other firefighters managed to escape with minor injuries.”
11/15/2010 a fire in a 28-story high-rise building undergoing renovations that housed 156 families in Shanghai killed forty-two and injured over ninety in a building built in the 1990s; the upper half of the building was beyond the reach of fire appliances, requiring firefighters to set up hoses on top of a nearby building.
11/15/1973 Stratford Apartments home hotel fire killed twenty-five and injured fifty-two in Los Angeles, CA, in a 64-year-old apartment house that was described as a ‘furnace with a chimney’ The fire, started in a lobby sofa and extended up an open stair in the wood frame stucco structure, within 5 to 10 minutes, burning through thin-paneled apartment doors in the three-story, U-shaped building.
11/15/1911 the town of Renwick, IA was destroyed by fire.
11/15/1926 Dr. John L. Bryan (1926-2014) the founding Professor and Chair of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) at the University of Maryland, from the department’s initiation in 1956 until 1993 and granted the rank of Professor Emeritus, was born in Washington D.C. Under the “Prof” leadership, the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the U of M College Park evolved from a modest, one-person operation to a mature and vital program serving the fire protection needs of the nation. He was a mentor to his students, alumni, and the fire service; a member of SFPE since 1950 and a Fellow since 1989, who received the Fire Protection Person of the Year Award in 1977 and the Arthur B. Guise Medal in 1998. The John L. Bryan Mentor Award was created in his honor in 2007. He passed away on 10/14/2014 but has left a legacy in the fire protection.