3/17/1631 the 1st fire prevention legislation passed in Cambridge, MA; the ordinance banned thatched roofs and wooden chimneys.
3/17/1890 Indianapolis, IN firefighters were called to the Bowen-Merrill Bookstore on West Washington Street to what appeared to be a routine fire. “The call came at approximately 3:00 p.m. from employees at the bookstore who had seen smoke. Firefighters arrived at the scene and believed the situation to be relatively safe, with the fire contained to the basement of the building. Because of the flammable contents of the store, firefighters stayed on the scene to make sure the fire was extinguished. A few hours later, however, flames were seen coming from windows in the upper stories. A number of firefighters stationed themselves on top of the building, while others entered the four-story building through upper windows. Without warning the walls collapsed, dropping many firefighters into the flames. Thirteen firefighters lost their lives, and more than a dozen were seriously injured.”
3/17/1912 a San Francisco, CA firefighter died of asphyxiation while operating at the SS Manchuria fire.
3/17/1935 a Boston, MA firefighter “collapsed after being overcome in the attic of a house at 15 Raymond Street, Allston, Box 5243 (Appian Way & Raymond St.) at 12:43 p.m. He was removed to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital where he died.”
3/17/1947 a Detroit, MI firefighter “died from smoke inhalation.”
3/17/1974 a Detroit, MI firefighter “died of the injuries he sustained after falling off Ladder 26.”
3/17/2005 a fire that claimed the lives of two Yellowknife, Canada, firefighters resulted in charges against the fire chief and a deputy fire chief, under the Northwest Territories Safety Act. “The two firefighters were part of a crew called to a fire at a hardware store about 7:00 a.m. They were inside with an attack line battling a fire in a shed attached to the store, where lumber was cut. Another crew was up on the snow-covered roof working at ventilation when the roof caved in on top of them. The firefighters who were on the roof when it collapsed managed to get out safely, and without serious injuries. Both firefighters were rescued from the shed and sent to hospital where they would die from their injuries. The blaze did not spread to the store.
3/17/2011 two North Perth, ON firefighters died while fighting a fire at the dollar store. The first-arriving pumper had eight firefighters on board; there was “a little bit” of white smoke showing. Two firefighters entered the dollar store to conduct a primary search. There were two crews in the building – a crew of three on one side and a crew of five on the other side near the loading dock. They were moving ceiling tiles, hitting spot fires and checking for extension – “all the normal things you would do in a structural fire”. The crews on the side where loading dock is, they see change in conditions and pull out, and the three on the other side – one firefighter is just leaving because his alarm has gone off and he’s tapping the other two and saying I’m stepping out; he gets to doorway and the T-bar ceiling comes down. That’s the instantaneous change in heat . . . and that’s where the change happens in the smoke and the heat. That causes the other guys try to get out of the building – the firefighter (whose alarm activated) who gets to the door – is knocked down by the T-bar collapse.
3/17/2012 East Liverpool, OH a 37-year-old man, and four children ages 11, 7 and 5 died in a house fire.
3/17/2017 a Watertown, MA firefighter “died after collapsing at the scene of a 2nd-alarm structure fire on Merrifield Avenue. Crews performed CPR and he was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.”
3/17/1996 an accidental fire occurred at the Scotch Meadow Rest Home in Laurinburg, North Carolina left eight elderly male residents dead from smoke inhalation and two other with smoke related injuries. The fire started from faulty electrical wiring in a patient room in single-story, protected wood frame structure the state licensed domiciliary care facility.
3/17/1993 six died after a gasoline tanker trapped in traffic at a railroad crossing is struck by an Amtrak train and exploded in a giant fireball setting nine cars and trucks ablaze in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
3/17/1992 a truck bombing of Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires killed twenty-eight by the Islamic Jihad.
3/17/1914 Wellesley, MA a girls’ dormitory fire forces 410 students to evacuate in the early morning that damaged “College Hall, the main dormitory and administration building of Wellesley College.”
3/17/1902 Atlanta, GA Gelder’s Hotel badly damaged by a fire that started in the basement of a drug store on the corner of Broad and Marietta Streets and in five minutes the hotel was filled with blinding smoke. “Chemicals in the basement of the drug store and some whisky stored next door in a saloon caught fire and added to the flames.”
3/17/1900 Chicago, IL a downtown fire at North Ave and Larrabee Street destroyed several businesses.
3/17/1894 Sitka, AK the historical Baranoff Castle was destroyed by fire.
3/17/1893 Boston, MA a business section fire leaves three dead and several stores destroyed.
3/17/1909 Montreal’s Windsor Station train accident, as locomotive 2102 approached the station an explosion rocked the engine car, the lurching effect that forced a driving wheel into the already damaged boiler.
3/17/1930 construction began on the Empire State Building, 350 5th Avenue, New York, NY despite of the Great Depression and was completed in 1 year and 45 days from the excavation of the pit to the first renter to move into the 102 story, 1,250′ high (1,454′ to tip CTBUH) building that has an area of 87,120 square feet. It took approximately 7,000,000 man hours, involving 3,400 workers, to complete the construction project at a cost of $24,718,000.00. The framework of the building contains 57,000 tons of steel and has an overall weight of about 365,000 tons; and has 6,500 windows. The Empire State Building was the tallest building for almost 40 years.
3/17 Happy St. Patrick’s Day: in 1762 the 1st St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York City & in 1756; the 1st St. Patrick’s Day celebration was held in New York City at Crown and Thistle Tavern in celebration of St. Patrick, a bishop, who was carried off to Ireland as a slave in 432 AD and who passed away on this day in 461 AD. The three-leafed clover, a living symbol of the Holy Trinity – God (Father), Son, and Holy Spirit – was used to convert the pagans of Ireland to Christianity. Had the holiday remained true to St. Patrick’s historic color preferences, the celebration would take on a shade of blue as its dominant hue. The Order of St. Patrick in both the United Kingdom and Ireland uses varying shades of blue in the badges identifying members of the order — sky blue in Britain and a deep blue in Ireland.