5/13/1903 a Buffalo, NY firefighter died at “a massive fire at the Diamond Mills and Elevator Company that destroyed the mill, 22 freight cars, and many other houses and buildings were damaged by the heat and flying embers. Engine 21, had been moved to temporary quarters near the waterfront, was first to arrive at the blaze. As Engine 21 was stretching hose lines to protect exposed homes across the street, a leak in one line caused the firefighter to attempt to repair it. The line suddenly burst and struck him with terrific force in the stomach, and knocked him to the ground, striking his head against the pavement. He was later taken to Emergency Hospital where he lived for a few hours but never regained his senses. His skull was fractured in the fall, along with other internal injuries.”
5/13/1908 a Harrisburg, PA firefighter died “while operating at a fire in a sash factory, an overhead power line burned through and landed on him. As he tried to run, he inadvertently grabbed a bare part of the wire and became entangled in it. As he twisted his body in an effort to free himself, he was electrocuted.”
5/13/1913 a Stratford, Ontario, Canada firefighter and two law enforcement officers were killed at a church fire. “The Knox Presbyterian Church on Ontario street was struck by lightning, just after midnight. As firefighters arrived on scene, they found that fire had completely encircled the steeple, and was fanned by high winds. Having no ladder truck, they fought the fire from hose lines and ground ladders. As the firefighter and the two police officers were moving a ladder, around 1:30, a large section of the steeple crashed down on them, killing all three.”
5/13/1925 a Ft Worth, Texas firefighter “died shortly after midnight. He had been fighting a fire at the Ardmore Rooming House on West Weatherford. He was heading into a smoke-filled hallway on the second floor when he collapsed on the steps. He died a few minutes later while in route to the hospital. His death was attributed to smoke inhalation.”
5/13/1997 Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania a board and care facility fire killed ten residents and injured three of the twenty-one residents and one staff member in the building at the time; that most likely started on a screened-in porch from smoking materials in the wood-frame two-story plus basement structure at approximately 9:10 p.m.
5/13/1993 a methane gas explosion in Secunda coal mine in South Africa, killed fifty.
5/13/1985 the Philadelphia, PA, the police aerial bombed Osage Avenue and MOVE, a radical cult group, that had assembled a large arsenal, left eleven people dead and 61 homes burned down. “At the MOVE headquarters, 6221 Osage Avenue, MOVE began assembling a cache of weapons and building bunkers in their row house; members set up several loudspeakers and began shouting profanities at their neighbors. Everything came to a head when the Mayor ordered police to raid the MOVE headquarters. Authorities soon realized that there was very little they could do to remove MOVE members from their entrenched position. At about 5:30 p.m. on May 13, a small bomb was dropped on the roof of the building in an attempt to destroy their bunker. This proved disastrous, as the roof was covered with tar and gas, and a blistering fire broke out.” “By the time the fire had been contained, nearly an entire block of homes in Philadelphia had burned down.”
5/13/1978 Yiba Commercial Center fire killed thirty-three in Ankara, Turkey.
5/13/1972 the trendy nightclub, Playtown Cabaret in Osaka, Japan fire killed 118 people, only 48 people survived. Inadvertently, an electrician set off a fire that reached oil-soaked rags in a nearby storage room that quickly spread up the elevator shafts and the outside walls of the building. “The fire exits were hidden by drapes and almost no one in the club found them.”
5/13/1910 Jackman, ME the Armstrong House Hotel fire killed one of the eighteen people who were sleeping in the building.
5/13/1907 Detroit, MI while under construction the 444’ long 4,500 passenger Steamer City of Cleveland caught fire just before daylight.
5/13/1899 Manchester, NH the large six-story Kennard business block was badly damaged by a morning fire.