7/29/1956 a refinery fire killed nineteen firefighters and injured thirty-three people at the Shamrock Oil & Gas Corp. in Sun Ray, TX after the eruption of a 500,000-gallon spherical fuel tank that contained pentane and hexane. Vapors escaping from the tank ignited a ground fire that ultimately flashed back into the storage vessel and extended to additional fuel tanks. “A mushrooming fireball sent burning fuel raining down for more than a mile.” “The fire crews from nearby Sunray and Dumas were fighting the fire in a conventional manner while the decision was made to reduce the amount of liquid in the burning tank. This increased the volume of the tank filled with explosive fumes. A few minutes before seven in the morning, an hour after the blaze began, the tank ruptured as the remaining fluid in the tank boiled, increasing the gas pressure past the bursting point.” The fire continued to burn for several days. “Sixteen firefighters died at the scene, three more perished later succumbing to burns. An additional thirty-two people, firefighters and sight-seers, were injured. The blast ignited three additional storage tanks. The fire overwhelmed the resources available and was allowed to burn itself out overnight.”
7/29/1856 a Boston, Massachusetts firefighter died “while operating at a two-alarm fire involving a large block of buildings, he was killed when he was caught under a collapsing chimney.”
7/29/1870 a Philadelphia, PA firefighter “died from injuries he received while fighting a fire.”
7/29/1912 a Swampscott, MA firefighter “died of the injuries he sustained after fighting a fire in a coal shed on Columbia Street.”
7/29/1924 Floriston, CA a forest fires extended to a paper mill on the Truckee River Canyon; one firefighter was killed.
7/29/1960 a Queens, New York (FDNY) firefighter died while operating at a single alarm fire.
7/29/1960 a Denver, CO firefighter died “while fighting a fire inside of Alton Wright Welding Company, 2077 So. Cherokee St., when he collapsed and died.
7/29/1967 a Sioux Falls, South Dakota firefighter “died as a result of the injuries he sustained while operating at a major warehouse fire. It was later determined to be an arson.”
7/29/1992 an Oak Park, Illinois firefighter died while he “and four other firefighters were fighting a residential basement fire. The firefighters were ordered to evacuate. When the firefighters realized that one had not followed them outside, they backtracked and found him unconscious at the foot of the basement stairs. He was transported to West Suburban Hospital Medical Center, but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.”
7/29/1999 a Philadelphia, PA firefighter died while working on the scene of a structure fire at 2000 E. Westmoreland. “The firefighter was operating the nozzle and extinguished a fire on the second floor of the structure. After taking a short break outside of the structure after the fire was controlled, the firefighter reentered the structure to assist with overhaul. Upon his arrival at the second floor, he collapsed of an apparent heart attack. CPR was begun immediately by other firefighters, ALS was provided by Fire Department paramedics, and he was transported to the hospital. The firefighter was pronounced dead at the hospital when further medical efforts proved fruitless.”
7/29/1967 a fire on a U.S. Navy carrier USS Forrestal stationed off the coast of Vietnam killed 134 with the accidental launch of a rocket.
7/29/1957 San Rafael, CA nineteen businesses were destroyed by fire that burned down both sides of Fourth Street in the main business section, between D and E Streets that started around 7:45 p.m.
7/29/1947 Harrisonburg, VA a gas leak exploded in a beauty parlor, ten women died and thirty were injured in a one-story structure.
7/29/1926 Marysville, CA a fire that destroyed National Theater and Elks Building. Scores of residents attribute their escape the “cool conduct” of three members of the theater staff: the “stage manager, who, following the discovery of the fire, walked out on the stage with the calm announcement to the 800 patrons that the building was a fire and that they should leave quietly… film operator, who continued to project the picture…and the organist, who played until the last patron left the house.”
7/29/1907 Coney Island, NY a six-story tenement house fire claimed nineteen lives and injured thirty at 222 Chrystie Street, sixty to eighty persons were asleep in building. “The Black Hand was almost certainly responsible.” The same organization police attribute a fire at Coney Island that swept a 35-acre tract in the heart of the resort and damaged Steeplechase Park and other property.
7/29/1907 Coney Island, NY the Long Beach Hotel, a popular resort, on the southern shore of Long Island, was practically destroyed by a fire that started on the top floor; all the 1,100 guests escaped, and no one was injured.
7/29/1905 a three-story structure, used for the mixing of dynamite in Washburn, WI at the Atlantic Manufacturing Company was destroyed by fire.
7/29/1903 Tewksbury, MA a powder explosion in magazine of the United States Cartridge Company killed twenty-five and injured more than fifty. “The explosion is thought to have been caused by the jarring of dynamite stored in the magazine by workmen who were laying a new floor.”
7/29/1891 Canton, MD at Balto United Oil Company 58,000 barrels of oil were destroyed after a lightning strike.