3/25/1911 the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire left 146 dead in New York City. The company employed approximately 500 workers, mostly young immigrant women some as young as twelve working 60 to 72 hours a week sewing clothes. The company occupied the top three floors of the ten-story Asch Building on the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street. The fire began on the eighth floor and quickly extended. Lack of exits prevented escape, many would jump to their death. “The industrial tragedy is remembered as one of the worst in American history. In the early 20th century, thousands of immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, and many found work in the thriving industrial scene. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, one of about 450 factories in Manhattan, took up the top three floors of the Asch building, in Greenwich Village. It was a sweatshop, the workers, many of them Jewish and Italian women, churned out shirtwaists (button-down blouses) in close-quarters 52 hours a week earning between $7 and $12. They were sewing when the fire broke out. The fire hose was corroded, and there was no sprinkler system; the elevator, able to hold just 12 people, could make only four trips before it broke down; and while there were two stairways leading to the street, the doors were locked. The fire escape was too narrow for everyone, about 600 workers, to quickly file out. Some jumped down the elevator shaft and others out the windows. Many others were burned alive. The fire brought attention to the dangerous conditions of such factories and eventually led to workplace regulations designed with worker safety in mind.”
3/25/1990 Happy Land Social Club arson fire killed eighty-seven in New York City, most of the victims were ethnic Hondurans celebrating Carnival. An unemployed Cuban refugee Julio González after arguing with his girlfriend returned to the club with gasoline which he spread on the only staircase and started the fire. Other fire exits had been blocked; the club was ordered closed for building code violations in November of 1988. “Violations included no fire exits, alarms or sprinkler system. No follow-up by the fire department was documented.” “Found guilty of 87 counts of arson and 87 counts of murder, González was sentenced to 174 twenty-five-year sentences, to be served concurrently. It was the longest prison term ever imposed in the state of New York. He was first eligible for parole in March 2015.” Julio Gonzalez died in prison in September of 2016 from a heart attack.
3/25/1885 a Buffalo, New York firefighter and a civilian died after being cut-off by a rapidly spreading fire. “On arrival, firefighters found heavy fire throughout a young men’s association building. After a short time, the fire extended to the tower of a church. Assisted by civilians, firefighters stretched a line into the tower to stop the spread of the flames. Conditions rapidly deteriorated forcing firefighters and civilians alike to flee for their lives.”
3/25/1905 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of injuries he sustained while operating at an alarm on March 18th, 1905.”
3/25/1914 Milwaukee, WI fifteen firefighters were overcome by smoke requiring medical treatment at Saddlery Factory fire at 300-304 Milwaukee Street
3/25/1919 a Manchester, NH firefighter “died as a result of massive injuries sustained the previous day, when the “pony” extinguisher he was carrying on his back exploded while he was operating at a brush fire in a cemetery.”
3/25/1925 a Binghamton, NY firefighter died while fighting a fire at 155 Washington Street “The Coffee Den”. He was trapped when a floor collapsed, pinning him under a large beam in the basement where he drowned before rescuers could reach him.
3/25/1933 a Berkeley, CA firefighter died from the injuries he sustained while operating at a fire.
3/25/1969 a Lakewood, MN firefighter “died while at a structure fire. After making entry, he suffered an episode with his breathing apparatus, and was unable to make it out of the building.”
3/25/1970 a Quincy, IL firefighter died “shortly after noon at a fire in a residence at 524 Payson Avenue. The fire had gutted three upstairs bedrooms and spread to two downstairs rooms. The crews on the scene worked hard to fight the fire and successfully extinguished the flames. They then began overhauling the building. While chopping a hole in the floor of a burned-out room, he collapsed. He was rushed to Blessing Hospital but attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.”
3/25/1979 three Lubbock, TX firefighters died “while checking for extension of fire in a restaurant which was being remodeled at 711 – 34th Street, the firefighters died of smoke and carbon monoxide inhalation when they apparently became disoriented in the heavy smoke and ran out of air.”
3/25/2001 a Westville, New Jersey firefighter died from injuries he sustained January 1st, 2001 in a structure fire in a 1½ -story residence. “Upon his arrival, the Fire Chief observed a glow from the basement, heavy smoke conditions, and fire visible from the rear kitchen windows. A car parked in front of the house and reports from neighbors that the house was occupied led the Chief to believe that rescue was needed. Upon the arrival of the first engine company, the Chief ordered two firefighters to enter the rear of the structure to perform a primary search of the structure. As soon as a firefighter entered the kitchen, the floor collapsed into the basement. The firefighter, who was wearing full protective clothing and Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), fell into the burning basement. Rescue efforts were begun immediately by firefighters who entered the basement through an outside door. The firefighter was located immediately, but his removal was delayed by the fact that he was trapped under the debris of the kitchen that had fallen into the basement. Firefighters were assisted in locating the firefighter by the sounding of his Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) device. The firefighter was conscious and guided rescuers. After significant efforts lasting approximately 20 minutes, he was removed from the structure. Advanced Life Support (ALS) medical care was provided, and he was transported to the hospital. He had severe burns over 74% of his body. He was conscious and alert upon his arrival at the hospital. The firefighter underwent at least nine surgeries related to his injuries including the amputation of his hands. His condition progressively worsened and he died on March 25, 2001. The structure fire that claimed his life was a rekindle of an earlier dryer fire. The residents had extinguished the earlier fire and had not called the fire department. At approximately 11:30 p.m., after the original fire was thought to be extinguished, the residents left the house.”
3/25/2018 at least sixty-four people died when a fire burned through a shopping mall in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, Russia “Many of the victims were children, and at least sixteen people were still missing after the blaze in the industrial city of about half a million people, about 2,000 miles east of Moscow. The fire started around 5:00 p.m. on the fourth floor of the mall, which includes a three-screen cinema complex, a skating rink and an entertainment center for children. The fire had started in the children’s entertainment room, where there was a trampoline with foam rubber. “The preliminary version is that one of the children had a lighter.” “The fire started from the trampoline pool, filled with foam rubber, which got lit up as gunpowder.”
3/25/1954 a fire and explosion destroyed an Atlanta, GA five-story office building in the center of the business district that started around at midnight in a building at 50-56 Pryor Street. “Firefighters said gases generated by the blaze probably caused the explosion which blew out the front of the structure.”
3/25/1952 Los Angeles, CA a six-floor hotel fire killed six of the estimated 150 who were in the St. George Hotel at 115 E. Third St. when the fire started at 3:00 a.m. in room 312. “Fire Captain…said a check showed that the hotel’s second floor fire hose was so rotted it was not usable, and a weight-balanced fire escape ladder at the rear, leading from the second floor to the ground, was wired up.”
3/25/1947 Steilacoom, WA one man died and two injured when Western State Hospital for the insane that was destroyed by a fire in the three-story brick building; 230 inmates were able to escape.
3/25/1947 a coal mine explosion killed 122 miners near Centralia, IL.
3/25/1931 Charles City, IA the three-story high school was destroyed by fire that started in the furnace and boiler room around 5:00 a.m.
3/25/1914 Mt Airy, Maryland over one third of the town was destroyed by fire that started at the Farmers’ Grain and Milling Company.
3/25/1913 Ames, IA the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts chemistry building burned.
3/25/1910 Chicago, IL the L. Fish and Company Furniture Store fire claims the lives of twelve and injured several more, when the fire destroyed the six-story building at Nineteenth and Wabash.
3/25/1910 the Twin Lakes (WI) Ice-House was destroyed by fire.
3/25/1873 eight business buildings were destroyed in Phenix Village, RI.
3/25/1865 the SS General Lyon at Cape Hatteras catches fire and sinks, killing 400.
3/25/1774 British Parliament passed the Boston Port Act, closing the port of Boston and demanding that the city’s residents pay for tea dumped into Boston Harbor during the Boston Tea Party on 2/16/1773.
3/25/1865 the Civil War Battles of Bluff Spring, Florida; Fort Stedman, Virginia; and Spanish Fort, Fort Morgan, Fort Blakely in Mobile, Alabama
3/25/1634 Maryland was established as a settlement.
13/25/306 Robert the Bruce crowned king of Scotland.