On 1/22/1892 a fire at National Surgical Institute killed nineteen patients and injured thirty others at Illinois and Georgia Streets in Indianapolis, Indiana. “The fires occurred downtown shortly before midnight on a cold, snowy night. A newspaper headline told the heartbreaking story, “Helpless cripples perish in the flames or jump to their death on the street.” The fire was discovered, when a janitor noticed flames on the third floor in a secretary’s office. The four-story hospital had more than 300 patients. The institute building included the upper floors of several old buildings connected by narrow passageways. The facility was advertised as “established for the cure of the lame and deformed,” is the “oldest and largest of its kind in America.” Page after page of illustrations showed men, women, and children afflicted with all manner of disabilities and deformities. The pamphlet claimed that “the paralyzed have been made to walk.” The media reported that the building had been condemned as fire traps more than 10 years before the deadly blaze and the proprietors, Drs. Allen and Wilson renewed their insurance policies just one day earlier. Few renovations had been made to meet the prescribed safety requirements. The newspapers criticized the city government, the building inspector, and the fire department for allowing the institute to operate in violation of the safety codes. Public outcry spurred reform of the building code and the fire department.”
On 1/22/1881 a Chicago, IL firefighter “was fatally injured while fighting a furniture factory fire on South Canal Street. He was among twenty firefighters who were injured when an outer wall of the three-story brick factory collapsed on several fire companies during firefighting operations.”
On 1/22/1904 a Brooklyn, New York (FDNY) firefighter died at a four-alarm fire on the sixth-floor of the E.W. Bliss Company, which manufactured torpedoes and projectiles for the United States Government. “He was leading his men up a ladder with a hoseline to the sixth-floor. When he reached the sixth floor, he either lost his balance or was overcome by the smoke and heat that was shooting out from the windows and fell. Halfway down he struck one of the prongs hooks of the ladder, which he became impaled with momentarily, and the fell to the ground. The hook split open his left side and pierced his lung.”
On 1/22/1927 a Chicago, Illinois firefighter died “while fighting a fire at the Hebard Storage Warehouse at 623 South Winchester Avenue. He fell through the roof of the warehouse when the structure collapsed. The fire started on the sixth floor of the warehouse, in an area that was allegedly “fireproof.” As the fire and rescue efforts intensified, a 4-11 alarm was sounded bringing firefighters and apparatus from all over the city. The fire was extinguished around midnight, and firefighters were able to recover his body. Twelve other firefighters were seriously injured while fighting the fire, and more than thirty firefighters were treated at area hospitals.”
On 1/22/1936 a Paris, Illinois firefighter died “while fighting a fire at the A.G. Witt Seed Company Building in Paris, Illinois. Located on East Wood Street, the Witt Building housed a seed company, the Forest Honeywell Garage, and seven residential apartments. Firefighters arrived at the scene shortly after the fire was reported around 9:00 p.m. Believing there were residents trapped in the second-floor apartments, which were empty, the firefighters adopted an aggressive strategy for entering the building and extinguishing the blaze. Three firefighters were operating in the one-story garage when the structure began to weaken. One firefighter was at the roof level, operating a hose while perched on a ladder that the firefighters had placed through a ceiling skylight, when one firefighter, who was holding the ladder with another firefighter, realized that the structure was giving way. The first firefighter called for the firefighter on the ladder to descend the ladder, but the roof and one wall of the garage collapsed before the three firefighters could retreat. The firefighter on the ladder fell and was crushed by a ten-inch thick wooden beam, while the other two were also trapped by debris. As smoke poured into the ruined garage, the remaining uninjured firefighters were joined by civilian bystanders in their efforts to free the three trapped firefighters. Two firefighters were quickly pulled from the rubble and taken to the hospital, but rescuers had to cut through the beam to reach the firefighter who had been on the ladder and was pinned. He was eventually freed and transported to the hospital where doctors pronounced him dead, believing that he had died instantly. The Paris Fire Department had only seven members at the time, but the four uninjured firefighters kept working throughout the night with the assistance of police officers and civilian volunteers. Despite temperatures that reached eighteen degrees below zero, causing hoses to freeze to the fire hydrants and pavement, the fire was successfully extinguished and did not spread to any other structures.”
On 1/22/1945 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died after he and his entire company were overcome by severe fumes while operating at a fire in a four-story brick building occupied by a fat company.”
On 1/22/2013 an Owego, New York firefighter died while operating at a mutual aid structure fire in Newark Valley that involved a two-story residence. “He and another firefighter were ordered to enter the structure to assist with firefighting operations. A MAYDAY was transmitted at approximately 11:29 p.m. for two firefighters that had fallen through the floor into the basement. The victim fell from the first floor into the basement; his partner fell partially through the floor but was able to pull himself out of the hole. Firefighters were able to place their hands on the firefighter from above but could not bring him back up through the hole due to fire and smoke conditions. Firefighters entered the basement, located the missing firefighter, and brought him to the exterior. The time from the floor failure to removal from the basement was approximately 20 minutes. The firefighter received second and third-degree burns over approximately 75% of his body. At autopsy, the carboxyhemoglobin level was 14 percent.”
On 1/22/2014 explosions around 5:30 a.m. and an intense fire at the JNS Biodiesel LCC plant in northern Mississippi north of New Albany reduced the complex to rubble. The heat was so intense firefighters could not get close enough to battle the fire. The plant uses poultry fat as feedstock to produce about 8 million gallons of biofuels a year.
On 1/221964 three men were killed when 4,000 pounds of dynamite exploded at a rock quarry northwest of Miami, Florida. “The quarry, operated by Maule Industries, supplied rock for cement operations in southern Florida.”
On 1/22/1961 the U.S. Maritime warehouse in Kearny, New Jersey was destroyed by fire.
On 1/22/1934 a fire started in the Congress Hotel in Tucson, Arizona, and shot up an elevator shaft from the basement. Firefighters evacuated guests from the third floor including two gangsters, Charles Makley and Russell Clark, members of the John Dillinger gang. The next day a firefighter recognized their photos in a detective magazine and alerted police. During the fire, Makley and Clark had offered a tip to the firefighters to retrieve their luggage, which contain $24,000 in cash and Thompson submachine guns. The hotel was built in 1919 as an upscale hotel for train travelers at the corner of Congress Street and Toole Avenue, right across from the historic Southern Pacific Railroad Station. The original three-story brick building, built over a basement, offered 80 rooms for guests on the top two floors
On 1/22/1920 the Armstrong Academy, near Bokchite, Oklahoma was destroyed by fire. “The school was known and respected throughout the Indian Territory and especially among the Choctaws,” “The destruction of the school buildings leaves the Choctaws with only three schools, two were for girls.”
On 1/22/1913 the town of Saint Anthony, Idaho was destroyed by fire; the water supply failed as the result of frozen pipes.
On 1/22/1895 a coal mine explosion near Sturgis, Kentucky killed five around 11:30 p.m. at the Trade Water Coal Company.
On 1/22/1927 Round Rock, TX a train hits a bus killing fourteen members of the Baylor University basketball team.