FIREFIGHTER HISTORY 1/25

On 1/25/1865 three Buffalo, New York died on a bitterly cold morning, at a major fire that destroyed a block of buildings, including stores and a rambling five-story hotel. “As gale force winds threatened to spread the fire into other blocks, a decision was made to blow up several buildings to create a firebreak. The firefighters were successful in their efforts and halted the further spread of the fire. As they now focused their attention on extinguishing the main body of fire, a rear wall collapsed, killing three firefighters instantly.”

On 1/25/1923 a San Francisco, California firefighter died from the injuries he sustained while operating at a dwelling fire.

On 1/25/1880 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of injuries he sustained January 11th, when he fell from a hayloft to the first floor while operating at an alarm.”

On 1/25/1927 a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania firefighter was killed while operating at a three-alarm fire involving a printing firm.

On 1/25/1927 a Chicago, Illinois firefighter “was fatally injured on January 19, 1927, while fighting a residential fire on Prairie Avenue. He was injured during the fire when he cut his knee with his ax while he was breaking through an interior door to rescue a child trapped by the flames. The minor cut on his knee became infected and he developed blood poisoning. He died six days after the fire, at South Shore Hospital.”

On 1/25/1928 a Youngstown, Ohio firefighter died around 4:10 a.m. when “flames were discovered in a one-story frame warehouse used by the Lee Tire Service Co. behind 448-450 W. Federal Street. The fire spread through the 60 cars stored in the warehouse and extended to the warehouse of Tamarkin Wholesale Grocery behind 460-462 W. Federal Street. Several firefighters were operating hose lines inside the structure when the roof and south wall caved in. Two other firefighters escaped with only cuts and bruises, but one firefighter was crushed in the collapse.”

On 1/25/1929 a Milwaukee, Wisconsin firefighter “was killed when a portable chemical fire extinguisher exploded.”

On 1/25/1999 a Patterson, New York firefighter died from exposure to the byproducts of combustion. “On January 8, 1999, he responded with his department to a report of a structure fire. The fire involved an oil burner in a furnace and was extinguished with the use of a dry chemical extinguisher. He had some experience with this type of equipment and was ordered to further investigate and make sure that the fire was out. He was exposed to soot and dry chemical residue. He left the house and collapsed on the front lawn due to a heart attack. Emergency medical service (EMS) treatment was begun immediately, and he was transported to the hospital. It is the opinion of the doctor that the heart attack was caused by exposure to smoke and chemicals. He suffered from injuries to the brain due to a lack of oxygen and died on January 25, 1999.”

On 1/25/2001 a Pine Hill, Alabama firefighter “died after the fire department responded to a report of a structural fire in an abandoned service station. He ascended a portable ladder to apply water through the gable end of the structure when he fell about 12 feet to the ground. The fire in the service station was a warming fire started by a transient. A 20-year-old man was arrested and later charged with arson.”

On 1/25/2009 a woman and four children were killed in a mobile home fire in Pelion, South Carolina.

1/25/1970 a fire at the 2,600-room Conrad Hilton in Chicago, Illinois killed two “deaf-mutes” and injured thirty-six residents that originated in a pile of furnishings in an elevator lobby on the ninth floor. The hotel was not equipped with a fire alarm system; the hotel operator had to call each room to inform the guest of the fire. “It was supposed to be a fun-filled weekend in Chicago for deserving students from the Illinois School for the Deaf. The whirlwind schedule included a visit to a museum, a basketball game, and a stay in a luxury hotel.”

On 1/25/1962 the seven-story Westlake Hotel in Rocky River, Ohio was damaged by a fire that hampered rush-hour traffic over the Rocky River Bridge.

On 1/25/1937 an express bus plunged into the Everglades from the Tamiami Trail near Miami, Florida that killed seventeen of the thirty passengers.

On 1/25/1936 the Curwensville, Pennsylvania conflagration started at 10:20 p.m. and burned for nearly eight hours destroying six buildings, most of a block, in the heart of the business district on State Street.

On 1/25/1928 the 60’ X 100’ two-story brick Irving Zuelke Building on the corner of College Avenue and Oneida Street in Appleton, Wisconsin was destroyed by fire in sub-zero weather.

On 1/25/1919 eight people died and more than twenty were injured when a wagon belonging to the Eastern Torpedo Company carrying nitroglycerine in a residence district exploded in Big Heart, Oklahoma.

On 1/25/1909 the Hotel Roy in Fonda, New York was destroyed by fire at about 2:00 p.m. thought to have originated in the laundry, located in the cellar of the structure built-in 1836.

On 1/25/1907 the Ellsworth, Maine Masonic Block on State Street burned. Frozen hydrants and a temperature of 25 degrees below zero hampered operations. The fire communicated from the Masonic building to the adjoining block occupied by the hardware store. It is believed that the defective insulation of electric light wires in the basement of the building started the fire.

On 1/25/1904 a mine explosion at the Harwick Coal Company killed 179 in Cheswick, Pennsylvania around 8:00 a.m.

On 1/25/1900 a Springfield, Massachusetts wallpaper and paint store at 88 Main Street was destroyed by fire shortly after 7:00 p.m. The fire reportedly followed a series of explosions, and when the rear door was opened it spread through the store “with such a rush that the large plate-glass windows were cracked, and parts of them fell upon the sidewalk with a crash.”

On 1/25/1884 the State prison in Stillwater, Minnesota was destroyed by a fire that started at 11:45 p.m. All the inmates, including the Younger brothers, were evacuated under armed guard to the prison yard. “About 330 in all were shackled together using long chains and removed to different points in the prison grounds.” The fire started on the east end and rapidly spread throughout the prison.