On 1/14/1879 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter was killed when he was caught under a collapsing wall while operating at a fire.
On 1/14/1880 six firefighters were injured in a three-story frame building fire in Brooklyn, New York.
On 1/14/1884 a Cleveland, Ohio firefighter “died as a result of complications and pneumonia that set in from the severe soaking he got while operating in bitterly cold temperatures at the Park Theater fire on January 7th.”
On 1/14/1893 a Chicago, Illinois firefighter “died while fighting a fire at the Garden City Fan Company located at the intersection of North Clinton and West Washington Streets. While trying to find his way through the smoke-filled building, He stepped into an elevator shaft and fell to his death.”
On 1/14/1893 a Chicago, Illinois firefighter died while fighting a fire on Kensington Avenue. “Engine 62 responded at 5:00 a.m. Two firefighters had just entered the burning building with a hoseline when an explosion occurred, and a wall collapsed and buried them both. Rescuers quickly located the two, one had been killed instantly when a heavy beam had fractured his skull.”
On 1/14/1911 a Detroit, Michigan firefighter “died from the injuries he sustained after being caught in a wall collapse while operating a fire.”
On 1/14/1914 a Boston, Massachusetts firefighter was “killed by a falling wall while operating the deck gun of Engine Company 37, an American LaFrance wagon, which was also damaged. The four-alarm fire was in the Bacon Company Building, 2175 Washington Street, Box 218. The initial alarm from Box 218 was sounded at 12:01 a.m. Several other firefighters were injured.”
On 1/14/1957 a Saint Paul, Minnesota firefighter was “overcome by smoke and died while fighting a fire in Fuller Brush warehouse, 2149 University. The fire was caused by a worker lit a cigarette lighter, which caused an explosion due to a gas leak.”
On 1/14/1964 a Camden, New Jersey firefighter died fighting a structure fire. “On arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke rolling from the first floor of a three-story frame structure housing a tailor shop on the first floor, with apartments above. As firefighters began to stretch lines and force entry into the building, the front plate glass windows let go and a fireball rolled out the front of the structure. The second and third alarms were struck as the fire took complete control of the building and blew through the roof. Bitter cold temperatures and high winds hampered the firefighting efforts. Soon after the third alarm was struck, a firefighter collapsed on the sidewalk. Attempts were made to revive him, and he was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.”
On 1/14/1966 a Spokane, Washington firefighter “died from smoke inhalation after becoming trapped in the basement of the burning Saad’s Shoe Store building, in downtown.”
On 1/14/1971 a Syracuse, New York firefighter “was killed when the snorkel he was in collapsed while operating at a three-alarm fire.”
On 1/14/1973 a Brooklyn, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of injuries sustained while operating at an alarm.”
On 1/14/1980 a Nashville, Tennessee firefighter “died while attempting to rescue someone out of a gas tunnel.”
On 1/14/1985 a Fort Worth, Texas firefighter died from injuries he received fighting a fire on January 6th. “Engine 5 advised the Fort Worth Fire Department (FWFD) alarm office that Engine 5 was responding to a structure fire reported by a walk-up citizen at a property south of Station 5. About 45 seconds later, Engine 5 got on the scene at 1305 Evans Ave., only three blocks from Station 5, to find a working fire in a commercial building with heavy smoke conditions. Tommy’s Recreation had been a pool hall and was an old-style commercial building, today we would call it a strip shopping center, that included a laundry mat. It had been vacant for some time and was one of those buildings that fire companies would drive by and say, “That thing is going to burn one day.” It was of mixed construction using both wood-frame and masonry with parallel cord metal bar joists. Engine 5 arrived on the scene quickly and stretched the first handline to the rear of the pool hall, which was the last occupancy on the south end of the building. The pool hall was attached to the building but was of wood-frame construction while the rest of the structure was concrete block. Engine 8 arrived quickly. The Lieutenant and Acting Lieutenant decided that Engine 8’s crew would advance through the front door of the pool hall in an attempt to knock down the main body of the fire. The Lieutenant noted that, at the time, the fire didn’t appear to be “too bad.” Once inside the pool hall, Engine 8 encountered high heat and zero visibility as they advanced their line to the rear of the building. They were about 40 feet inside when another firefighter came up the line to advise that fire had broken through the roof. About the same time, the Lieutenant said he began hearing what sounded like someone hitting a metal drum with a baseball bat and loud popping noises. He ordered the crew to back out of the building as conditions continued to deteriorate. As the crew of Engine 8 moved back to the front door following their hoseline, the Lieutenants helmet came off, pulling his SCBA facepiece off his face. As he struggled to get his mask back on, he lost contact with the hoseline under heavy smoke and rapidly changing conditions. Having lost the handline and his direction out, he moved forward until he hit what he thought was a wall. It turned out to be a freestanding cigarette machine. However, it changed his direction of travel and he could suddenly hear voices outside the building. By the time the Lieutenant reached the door, the area was beginning to flashover; there were less than three feet of space at the bottom of the doorway that didn’t have fire blowing out into the street. He rolled out of the opening, hitting his crew on the sidewalk. Just moments later, there was a catastrophic failure of the metal bar joist, pushing the entire south wall (D side) on top of the acting Lieutenant trapping him. A rescue operation quickly began, with firefighters using a set of hydraulic rescue tools to help lift the wall. Firefighters crawled under the wall and removed the trapped firefighter, who had been trapped for five minutes. The Fort Worth firefighter would live another week, passing away after being removed from life support.”
On 1/14/2003 a Springfield, Illinois firefighter “was operating at a structure fire on East Iles Avenue at 1:30 a.m. He exited the structure to change his bottle and collapsed. He was treated by EMS on scene and transported to St. John’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.”
On 1/14/1969 an explosion from a rocket that accidentally detonated aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise killed twenty-seven sailors and another 314 were injured at Pearl Harbor. Around 8:19 a.m. the overheated exhaust of an MK-32 Zuni rocket loaded on an F-4 Phantom jet blew up and set off a series of explosions and fires that also destroyed fifteen aircraft.
On 1/14/2018 a casino shuttle boat fire forced fifty passengers and crew to leap for their lives into the chilly waters off Florida’s Gulf Coast in Port Richey, Florida about 40 miles north of St. Petersburg. One passenger, a woman, died after she was transported to the hospital. More than a dozen people suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
On 1/14/2015 a six-alarm fire destroyed the Northumberland County Prison in Pennsylvania and forced the evacuation of hundreds of prisoners at gunpoint. The Victorian-era jail opened in 1877 and the site of Pennsylvania’s last public hanging in 1879, it resembled a turreted castle.
On 1/14/2014 sixteen people died and twenty were rescued at a shoe factory fire in eastern China in the Taizhou, Zhejiang province that started in the afternoon in the 8,600 ft2 building. The incident highlights poor workplace safety standards.
On 1/14/1964 the brick 5-story 48-room Hotel St. Regis in Saranac Lake, New York was destroyed by a fire that injured fourteen of the fifty guests. The cause of the fire was not determined, but one report suggests that a furnace had exploded.
On 1/14/1975 four children and two adults perish in the upstairs of their split-level house during a fire in Boonton, New Jersey.
On 1/14/1938 the Lutz Lumber Yard fire in Brooklyn, New York displaces twenty-five families from their apartments.
On 1/14/1929 in Watkins Glen, New York the high school burned about 6:00 p.m. while the girls’ basketball team was dressing after practice. The fire was believed to have started in a room in the basement near the center of the building. “A strong wind, the accumulation of oil used on the floors, and a ventilator shaft served as channels to turn the fire from an ordinary blaze to a conflagration of a serious nature.”
On 1/14/1909 the body of an attorney and politician was found in the ruins of the Copeland Hotel after a fire that began around 4:00 a.m. in the “old structure that proved to be an easy prey to the flames” in Topeka, Kansas.
On 1/14/1883 the Planters’ house fire on Fourth Street, the oldest hotel in St. Louis, Missouri started around 4:00 a.m. and left two dead.