1/16/1967 the McCormack Place hall in Chicago, IL was destroyed by a fire and a security guard killed during the National Housewares Manufacturers Association Exhibit. “McCormick Place was the largest convention center in North America consisting of four interconnected buildings and one indoor arena sited on and near Lake Michigan, about 2 miles (3.2 km) south of downtown.” “The original McCormick Place was completed in 1960 on a lakefront site south of Chicago’s Loop. The main 320,000-square-foot (29,729-square-meter) exhibition hall was virtually a windowless building, with three levels of exhibit and support spaces, and a 5,000-seat theater at the south end. The lower two levels were constructed of concrete. The top level, which contained the main exhibition space, was shielded from the elements by a series of long-span steel trusses, with 210 feet (64 meters) between columns and an 80-foot (24-meter) cantilever at each end. The underside of the primary structural members was 37 feet (11 meters) above the concrete slab floor. Columns were protected to a height of 20 feet (6 meters) by spray-applied fiber and encased in lath and gypsum vermiculite plaster. The fire occurred at 2:00 a.m. on the morning that the National Housewares Manufacturers Association show was going to open. The exhibitions, arranged in 1,250 booths, had already been installed, and filled the upper two levels of the convention center with displays constructed of an array of combustible materials. Investigators determine the fire began as an electrical fire in a single exhibit booth. Convention center janitors initially tried to extinguish the fire themselves, but within a half hour of the fire’s discovery, five alarms had been called. Five of the seven McCormick Place fire hydrants were shut off, hampering the immediate firefighting efforts. The heat of the fire was so intense that the roof structure began to fail only an hour after the blaze began. It took the Chicago Fire Department almost eight hours to extinguish the fire.
1/16/1864 a Manhattan, New York firefighter died while operating at a fire involving an extensive mixed property. He was killed instantly when he was caught under a collapsing wall. Another firefighter, who had just emerged from the building with two small children, narrowly escaped death when the wall just missed him.
1/16/1912 a Boston, MA firefighter died at “a four-alarm fire, which started in the basement, rapidly spread via the elevator shafts throughout a five-story brick, fully occupied hotel, and destroyed the historic building. Upon seeing the involvement of the building on arrival, and the enormity of the rescue problem, additional alarms were struck in rapid succession. Firefighters led scores of trapped occupants to safety down interior stairways until the rapidly spreading fire made them untenable. With half of the hotel’s 200 occupants still in the burning structure, firefighters, assisted by a group of battleship sailors in the nearby harbor, raised numerous ladders and removed the remaining patrons. Within 30 minutes, the building was totally involved in fire and was spreading to two other hotels. More rescues were made by firefighters via ladders at these two structures.” The firefighter was killed when he fell four floors onto a picket fence.
1/16/1918 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) died while “operating at a three-alarm fire in a six-story brick storage warehouse, he was caught in the collapse of the first floor into the cellar. He managed to find his way to a window, only to have his escape blocked by iron bars. He was found 48 hours later in the cellar, still clinging to bars that had blocked his way. He was wrapped in a block of ice and apparently froze to death. The rest of his company barely escaped with their lives in the collapse; however, there were several other firefighters who were trapped and were extricated by the members of Rescue 1.”
1/16/1921 a Stratford, Canada firefighter died from injuries he received fighting a fire. “On January 7, 1921 at 2:12 a.m. a police constable noticed smoke coming from the 2nd-floor window of Classic City Bakery on Ontario Street. Upon arrival, firefighters were confronted with a well involved 2nd-floor fire of a 3-story building. Lines were advanced up ladders. During the operation, his ladder slipped on the icy edge. He tried to grab and hold onto the eaves, but do to the icy condition, he fell 20 feet. In extreme pain, he still managed to crawl and shut down his unmanned nozzle. He was then taken to the hospital, where his condition deteriorated, and he died from his injuries.”
1/16/1929 a Binghamton, NY firefighter “died after being overcome by smoke at a fire at the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. at 218 Clinton Street.”
1/16/1948 two Cleveland, OH firefighters were killed when they were caught under a collapsing wall while operating at a fire.
1/16/1967 a Springfield, IL firefighter died while fighting a lumberyard fire. “Around 10:30 p.m., the Springfield Fire Department received an alarm for a fire at the Springfield Builder’s Supply Company located at 19th and Mason Streets. The west wall of the burning warehouse collapsed as he was leading a hose line, and he and four other firefighters were buried under the burning lumber and other debris.”
1/16/1991 a Los Angeles County, CA firefighter “died after being on a respirator for a week after he was nearly crushed by a facade that fell on him and five other firefighters as they fought a fire at a mini-mall. He was pinned by the debris for approximately 20 minutes and was not breathing when rescuers pulled him free. Investigators ruled that the fire was an arson and that his death was a homicide.”
1/16/2014 more than twenty structures were destroyed in Southern California wildfire, the fire erupted before 6:00 a.m. on January 16th in the Angeles National Forest when Santa Ana winds hit a campfire, some 3,700 people from Glendora and Azusa were ordered to leave their homes at the height of the fire.
1/16/2012 the biggest cypress tree, known as the Senator, stood in Spring Hammock near Longwood Florida, was destroyed by fire. Over 3,500 years-old the tree measured 118 feet tall, shortened from 165 feet after a 1925 hurricane, with a circumference of 17-½’ and a diameter of 425″ it contained 3,781 cubic feet of wood.
1/16/1997 a bomb exploded outside an abortion clinic in suburban Atlanta, GA at Centennial Park. An hour later, while responders were on scene, a 2nd bomb went off near a large trash bin, injuring seven. A nail-laden bomb was used, and authorities were targeted. Five days later, in Atlanta, a nail-laden bomb exploded near the patio area of a crowded gay and lesbian nightclub, injuring five people.
1/16/1985 the Merrymount Nursing Home in Quincy, MA was successfully evacuated of all 24 patients in sub-freezing temperatures as a concealed space fire spread smoke throughout the structure. Smoke was detected by the fire alarm system that alerted building occupants and notified the local fire department.
1/16/1981 a fire at the Holiday Inn in Kearney, Nebraska, injured twenty-two. The masonry and poured concrete building with some frame construction between guest rooms and corridors had open stairways at the end and middle of each wing; the interior finishes of ¼” plywood on ¾” furring strips over masonry units. A local alarm system was installed but did not automatically notify the fire department and the evacuation alarm sounding devices were located at the end and middle of each guest room wing. “Except for the lack of fatalities, the fire was nearly a duplication of conditions at the Holiday Inn fire that killed ten people and injured eighty-two others in Cambridge, Ohio on July 31, 1979, and the ten fatality Holiday Inn fire in Greece, New York, on November 26, 1978.”
1/16/1972 Tyrone, PA the 75-year-old, three-story, frame Pennsylvania House Hotel fire killed thirteen including a family of seven, only two were able to escape. The building served as a residence for the owner (and family) as well as a combination residential-transient hotel. The fire started in a closet between the bar and hotel lobby from an overloaded electrical circuit. The open stair, non-firestopped walls and lack of a fire detection system allowed the fire to spread. The fire extended destroying two adjoining frame buildings and damaged two brick structures.
1/16/1922 Newport, OR the Nye Beach Natatorium, amusement resorts, was destroyed by fire.
1/16/1916 an early morning fire at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland destroyed the William Smith Hall. Many of the archives including handwritten documents by George Washington were consumed.
1/16/1908 Oxford, OH the girls’ dormitory at Miami University, was destroyed by fire.
1/16/1915 Franklin, NJ a fire started from defective electric insulation injured two of the dozen persons registered at Franklin House (hotel).
1/16/1910 Oneonta, NY a fire at the Central Hotel killed one around 3:40 a.m. from a cinder box near the furnace in the hotel basement adjacent to an elevator shaft, allowing flames to rapidly spread “shutting off the thirty-five guests in the house from the stairs.”
1/16/1897 a fire in the Buckner orphan home killed seventeen in Dallas, TX in a fire that started about 10:00 p.m.