On 5/28/1977 the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire killed 165 and over 200 were injured in Southgate, Kentucky six miles outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. Constructed in 1937 and modified several times by 1976, the building created a sprawling complex. Around 3,000 patrons and 182 employees were inside the club when the fire erupted in the front of the club. Two minutes after a warning, the fire burst into the corridor and exploded into the Cabaret Room with a fireball… “On the evening of May 28, 1977, the facility was at full capacity and overflowing with people, some estimated as many as 3,000 people were in the facility. Many people that were in attendance went to see John Davidson an entertainer. In other sections of the facility, there were private parties taking place. In one area there was a private award banquet with around 450 people in attendance. With such overcrowding, additional seating was required and this took place in the isles, ramps, and doorways throughout the facility…There had been a wedding reception in the Zebra room that ended around 8:30 p.m. and some of the guests reported that the room was becoming overheated, but no one reported a smell of smoke or seeing anything. Two employees entered the Zebra room around 8:56 to find heavy smoke at the ceiling level. The fire department was notified at 9:01 and the management attempted to use fire extinguishers to contain the fire but was unable to control it. The fire department arrived on the scene within three minutes of the call. Access to the building was limited. The long uphill single-lane driveway to the business was packed with patron vehicles as the parking lot was overflowing. This factor alone hampered efforts to get units to the scene as well as making for extremely long hose lays for water supply…The fire continued to spread to other parts of the building, and by 9:10 the fire had extended to the Cabaret room where John Davidson was performing. This room had an occupancy load of 615 to 756 but on this evening the estimates were at 1300, although in future reports it is stated that there were between 900 to 1000 people in the Cabaret Room…There were no reports of the exit doors being locked, however, a Fort Thomas firefighter was quoted as saying, “When I got to the inside doors, which is about 30 feet inside the building, I saw these big double doors, and people were stacked like cordwood. They were clear up to the top. They just kept diving out on each other trying to get out. I looked back over the pile and it wasn’t dead people, there were dead and alive in that pile and I went in and just started to grab them two at the time and pull them off the stack and drag them out…” Other issues that contributed to a large loss of life in this fire can also be found in other fires throughout history. There were 16.5 exits and Kentucky law required that there be 27.5 exits for the occupant load. The wiring was considered inadequate and would have never passed inspection. Firewalls did not exist in the building to prevent the spread of fire. A sprinkler system or an audible fire alarm was non-existent. Reports are that the fire department was not authorized to enforce the building codes.”
On 5/28/1857 a Newark, New Jersey firefighter died in a large, four-story frame, rubber plant heavily involved in a fire. “While operating at the blaze, he was killed when the main chimney of the plant collapsed at the height of the fire. He suffered a massive skull fracture and was killed instantly. The Third Assistant Chief was also caught in the collapse and was seriously injured.”
On 5/28/1897 a Hamilton, Ontario, Canada firefighter died at a fire in the Gartshore-Thomson pipe foundry on Hesston Streets. As he was assisting in hose line advancement into the structure, he fell into an eighteen-foot deep molding pit and stuck his head. Firefighters were able to remove him and transport him to the hospital where he died from his injuries.
On 5/28/1919 a Saint Paul, Minnesota firefighter “died as a result of injuries sustained May 24th, when he tripped and fell from the building while operating at a fire. The cause of death was due to severe abdominal injuries.”
On 5/28/1922 a Queens, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of injuries sustained after falling from a ladder, while operating at a four-alarm fire the previous day.”
On 5/28/1939 a Vallejo, California, firefighter “died after suffering from asphyxiation while fighting two house fires on Branciforte Street.”
On 5/28/1967 an Anchorage, Alaska firefighter died at the Spenard Builders Supply Company fire. “Fire crews immediately went to work covering exposures. While operating at the fire, he stepped on a fallen 7,200-volt power line and was instantly electrocuted.”
On 5/28/1986 a Snow Mountain Oregon forest firefighter “was killed when he tripped and struck his head while operating at a prescribed burn.”
On 5/28/2007 a Fulton County, Georgia firefighter died at a residential structure fire. “Upon their arrival, firefighters found a working fire with firsthand reports of a civilian trapped in the structure. Two firefighters advanced a hose line into the structure for search and rescue and fire control. Fire conditions inside the structure changed rapidly and most firefighters were forced to evacuate the structure. The firefighter and his partner were trapped in the structure until they were located and removed by other firefighters. He was not breathing when he was removed from the structure and transported by ambulance to a medical facility but was not revived.”
On 5/28/2014 a bus fire killed five and injured thirteen of the twenty-three passengers on the Amravati-Nagpur highway between Nagpur from Jalgaon near Talegaon shortly after stopping at a petrol pump for 10 minutes.
On 5/28/2013 a freight train struck a garbage truck and derailed in Rosedale, Maryland, triggering an explosion felt throughout the region, sending up a plume of black smoke visible for miles; officials shut down surrounding roads for several hours.
On 5/28/1965 a mine explosion killed hundreds near Dharbad India; caused by methane gas.
On 5/28/1845 a fire in Quebec Canada destroyed 1,500 houses.