8/23/1891 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter died who was operating in a 5-story building fire on Broadway and Leonard Street. “The five-story building housed a corset manufacturing company and was stocked with toys in the basement, where the fire started. The firefighter was advancing a line of hose on the first floor when he was hit with a heavy build-up of heat and smoke near the window. After his men noticed he was having trouble they carried him out to the fresh air. He died before an ambulance could reach him.”
8/23/1914 a Chicago, IL firefighter “died near the Engine 119 firehouse on Avondale Avenue. He was electrocuted during a storm when he tried to retrieve from the street an electrical wire that he believed was no longer charged. Firefighters attempted to revive him with a resuscitating machine, but their efforts were unsuccessful.”
8/23/1940 a Cripple Creek, CO firefighter died at “a horrific fire at the Louis Weiner building, located at 230 E. Bennett Ave., in downtown. It was a hot day. Much of the building was already fully engulfed in flames. The firefighters were able to gain control, and things calmed down at the scene, someone noticed one firefighter had yet to come out of the building. The firefighters soon found an unconscious him in an upper room of the building. The firefighters rushed him to a local hospital in Cripple Creek, where he died a few hours later. The investigators, originally believing the cause of the fire was due to carelessness, later determined that the cause was arson. Detectives quickly zeroed in on a former Cripple Creek Fire Department employee. He was already a suspect in causing several fires in the area in recent months prior to the fire at the Louis Weiner building. He eventually confessed, stating he had an “uncontrollable desire to set fires since he was 7 years old.” He was charged with arson and the death of a firefighter. Incredibly, just five days after the fire and after firefighter’s funeral, the criminal was tried and convicted of arson and attempted murder. Sentenced to a term of 60 years to life in the state penitentiary at Cañon City, he was paroled after serving only 10 years.”
8/23/1949 Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter died “as a result of the noxious gases he inhaled while operating at a two-alarm fire in the Holland Tunnel on May 13, 1949. A fire started in a truck carrying 48,536 pounds of highly inflammable and toxic carbon disulfide in fifty-five-gallon drums. He returned to work, after which he became ill from the inhalation of the chemicals.”
8/23/1959 a warehouse fire killed ten firefighters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
8/23/1986 around 4:30 a.m. an incendiary rooming house fire in the village of Massapequa on Long Island, New York claimed the lives of five residents and heavily damage to the wood-frame structure. No inspections had been conducted by code enforcement officials, although the facility had operated over 10 years, its existence was not known nor licensed.
8/23/1961 Sioux City, IA, the Curtis Co. fire at the corner of W. Fourth and Perry in Sioux City. The building was abandoned when the fire occurred.
8/23/1941 Paulsboro, NJ five rapid explosions in the high-octane gasoline plant of the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company refinery seriously injured two around 5:45 a.m. “The explosions apparently occurred in the stabilizer building of the Houdry Process plant whose capacity is 63,000,000 gallons of high-octane fuel annually.” The plant manufactured millions-gallons of top-grade gasoline for the nation’s armed forces.
8/23/1937 Cody, WY a forest fires killed fourteen and injured forty-six. “The dead and injured men were trapped high on the side of the mountain near timberline by a spot fire which sent balls of fire rolling over tree tops faster than they could run.” “Civilian conservation corps officials said tonight all of the bodies of nine youthful C. C. C. boys from the Tensleep, WY camp who died in the flames or as a result of the burns would be sent to their homes in Texas and Oklahoma immediately.”
8/23/1911 Parkersburg, WV the Chancellor Hotel fire killed three that started in the laundry room on the seventh floor of the hotel after a gas explosion; the east wall collapsed and demolished a one-story brick building.
8/23/1895 Braddock, PA Edgar Thompson Steel Works Explosion a terrific explosion frightened the town at 5:00 a. m. and resulted in the death of eight men. Carelessness and ignorance in allowing material to accumulate until its obstructed the free passage of the gases generated in the melting of ore caused the accident.
8/23/1857 Wilmington, DE Du Pont powder mill explosion killed two men as seven workmen were removing a large heavy box from the building. The box contacted the wall that created friction that produced a fire followed by explosion.
8/23/2011 around 1:51 p.m. in the Piedmont region of Virginia a magnitude of 5.8 earthquake in Louisa County, 38 miles northwest of Richmond, was felt across more than a dozen U.S. states and in several Canadian provinces; the quake damaged several buildings including the Washington Monument.