8/11/1874 the first sprinkler head was patented by Henry S. Parmalee of New Haven, Connecticut who is considered the inventor of the first practical automatic sprinkler head. Parmalee improved upon the Pratt patent and created a better sprinkler system. In 1874, he installed his fire “modern” sprinkler system into the piano factory that he owned. “Until the 1940s, sprinklers were installed almost exclusively for the protection of commercial buildings, whose owners were generally able to recoup their expenses with savings in insurance costs.”
8/11/1926 a Bayside, New York (FDNY) firefighter “was overcome by gas in a cesspool rescuing workers at 65 Bell Blvd.”
8/11/1976 a Danville, IL firefighter “died while fighting a residential fire at the northwest corner of North Vermilion and Voorhees Streets. He responded to the fire in command of firefighters from Station #3. After the fire was successfully extinguished, he and three other firefighters set up a temporary light plant outside of the house to provide light during salvage and overhaul operations. He soon returned to the second floor of the house, where he collapsed.”
8/11/1922 Shelter Island, NY a hotel was destroyed by fire, apparatus responded by ferryboat. The Hotel Poggatticut, formerly the Prospect House, with nearly 250 guests lost the most of their belongings. The fire started in the cupola of the hotel shortly after noon; an “explosion of the valet’s gasoline stove used to heat irons for pressing clothes is blamed.”
8/11/1919 Montreal, QB the Dominion Park Scenic Railway fire killed nine that was discovered around 5:35 p.m. and may have been caused by careless cigarette or a lighted match. The fire spread quickly.
8/11/1914 San Diego, TX the Duval County Courthouse, a large two-story frame structure, was destroyed by fire.
8/11/1889 the five-story Augusta, GA Orphan Asylum was destroyed by fire, firefighters were handicapped by a lack of water.
8/11/1886 Massillon, OH the Witherald & Wells Window Glass Works was destroyed by a fire that started before noon.
8/11/2013 A number of buildings were affected by a 100-foot-wide sinkhole that formed under a resort building near Disney World in central Florida; one three-story building collapsed, and another sank at the Summer Bay Resort in Clermont, thirty-five people escaped the structures.
8/11/1892 Hartford City, IN a heavy stone wall collapse that killed five and injured two others around 3:45 p.m. at the Hartford City Glass Works. The collapse “was caused by pressure of the heavy dirt filling placed behind the wall and defective masonry. At the time of the accident the men were attempting to prop the wall.”
8/11/1909 the SOS was first used by an American ship, Arapahoe, off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.