On 1/6/1993 after six days of firefighting, “a final foam attack was made on the burning oil tank at the Steuart Petroleum Plant in Jacksonville, Florida. The tank was extinguished within an hour, making history in the process as the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department became the only fire department to ever extinguish a fire in this type of tank. After extinguishment, firefighters continued precautionary foaming of the tank every 15 minutes for an additional two days. On January 2nd, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue responds to the Steuart Petroleum Plant for a report of an oil tank on fire. Upon arrival, firefighters find a car had crashed into a tank. The tank was ignited, and the product was burning…Firefighters arrived on the scene at the facility shortly after 3:00 a.m. to find heavy fire coming from Tank 22. The tank had an internal roof, which had collapsed into the tank. Product from this tank had overflowed, ignited, and was impinging on neighboring Tanks 21 and 23. The fire outside of the tank covered nearly one acre and exposed above-ground pipelines and manifolds. Over the next six days, Jacksonville Firefighters would attempt to extinguish this tank farm fire several ways.”
On 1/6/1995 around 5:00 a.m. a North York, Ontario residential high-rise building fire killed six residents, all found on upper stories in the exit stairways. The accidental fire originated and damaged a fifth-floor apartment that spread into the exit access corridor through the open apartment door making it untenable. Noncombustible walls and closed doors prevented the spread of fire into other fifth-floor apartments. One exit stairway door was heavily damaged by the fire, and the other exit stairway door was held open by a hose line used during suppression operations. Large quantities of smoke entered both stairs; resulting in the natural stack effect moving smoke to the upper floors and passing through closed doors. “The 1994 Life Safety Code® contains several requirements for existing apartment buildings which would have changed the outcome of this incident” including fully sprinklering high-rise apartment buildings, smokeproof enclosures for exit stairs, and self-closing doors with latches between living units and corridors.
On 1/6/1966 a fire at the Hotel Carleton in Saint Paul, Minnesota killed eleven. “The three women, met by firefighters as they dashed from the building were doused with water from a hoseline to extinguish their flaming clothes. None was seriously hurt. Among the dead on the scene were six men, and three women. Two bodies were recovered quickly, the others after firefighters were able to enter the ruins. There were 51 occupants of the hotel, several were elderly. “The four-story Carleton Hotel was built around 1900 and located at 493 St. Peter Street in St. Paul (across Exchange Street from St. Joseph’s Hospital). The fire was reported at about 4:00 a.m. and was likely caused by careless smoking in a second-story bathroom. Nine victims were found in the ruins of the building and an additional 17 were injured. Two of the 17 later perished from their injuries.”
On 1/6/1961 a pre-dawn fire at the Thomas Hotel killed twenty and injured thirty-eight occupants in a 50-year-old brick structure located downtown, in San Francisco, California. Most of the 150 residents were elderly. The fire started in the 1st-floor room of 62-year-old Raymond Gordon who was arrested and charged with manslaughter. “A mattress fire started by a careless smoker was thought to have been extinguished by the resident and a neighbor. The fire department was NOT notified and the mattress reignited causing the fatal blaze. Many occupants survived by jumping onto mattresses hastily stacked by firefighters…Fire Marshal Albert Hayes stated that the rapid spread of smoke and fire was caused by doors being left open. He subsequently began a push to require changes in the building and fire codes to mandate all stairways and corridors be protected with fire-resistant doors.”
On 1/6/1880 a Memphis, Tennessee firefighter died “while operating at a major fire involving a two-story corset factory and a picture frame factory, he and two other firefighters were caught under a collapsing wall. He was killed instantly, and another firefighter died the next day as a result of injuries sustained.”
On 1/6/1895 two Toronto, Canada firefighters died from injuries received while fighting a fire at the Globe newspaper. “The Globe newspaper building on the corner of Yonge and Melinda Street caught fire at 2:43 a.m. A security guard found smoke coming from the basement stairs and ran an activated Box 21 (Yonge and King Street). The fire spread to the upper floors.” Two firefighters were in the process of bedding one of the ladders when a collapse occurred. Two members, were knocked under the aerial truck, probably saving their lives. Two other firefighters “were buried in the avalanche of hot brick, near the rear wheel of the truck. Firefighters braved the threat of further collapse to dig the comrades out. One firefighter received broken bones, but would make a full recovery, one firefighter died from his injuries at 5:40 a.m. The fire continued to grow and leaped north across Melinda Street and destroyed Webb’s Restaurant. To the south of the Globe Building was Brough & Carswell’s printing building. At 3:15 a.m. three firefighters entered the Brough building to check conditions. Once on the third floor, they realized the roof was on fire and they needed to get a line. Before they could exit the floor, the south wall of the Globe Building came crashing down thru the roof.” One firefighter was carried down to the street in the avalanche, while two others were cut off by fire on the barely intact third floor. While blinded by smoke and surrounded by fire, they were unable to contact the ladder and had no choice but to jump forty feet to the ground. Both members landed hard, with numerous injuries sustained. The fire was brought under control around 6:00 a.m. after destroying 12 buildings. A second firefighter developed pneumonia on January 17, and lost his life 3 weeks later on the 27th of January”.
On 1/6/1904 a London; Canada firefighter died during a building collapse. The “Stirling Brothers shoe warehouse, on the corner of York and Clarence Street, was found to be burning by a constable at 1:30 in the morning. They had heavy fire thru-out the structure forty minutes into the fire, due to intense heat, the ladder was ordered to be brought down. As crews were having trouble lowering the ladder, a firefighter walked over to two firefighters and took over their hose line, to enable them to help the ladder crew. It is reported that he said, “go give the boys a hand and I will work this line until you get back.” As the crews had just gotten the ladder down and backed away, a collapse happened, where a top portion of the sound wall fell on several men and caused fatal injuries to one.
On 1/6/1907 three Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighters “were buried in burning debris after the roof and the top two floors of the George S. Hill Company building, a six-story paper warehouse, at 54 Roosevelt collapsed. When the call was made to evacuate the three firefighters were outside on a third-floor landing and decided it would be quicker to take the inside stairs back down. They had just re-entered a window to make their way down when they heard a rumble and the sound of timbers breaking… Once the three-alarm fire was subdued rescue parties entered the building from the top and started searching for the three missing firefighters. Early the next day the mangled body of one firefighter was pulled out of the rubble and there was not much hope of finding the other two alive. Several hours later a faint noise was heard. All work was stopped, and the firefighters listened to the noise. What they heard was three taps followed by two taps on a pipe and then a faint hello. The men ran to the spot where the sounds were coming from and yelled “Hello! Is that you boys?” The answer came back saying he was Jack and did not feel like he was hurt but just could not move. The whole department started digging where the sound was coming from and after three hours they were no closer to finding him than before. Someone started tunneling toward where he thought the sounds were coming from. After several more hours of digging, a light was put in the tunnel and they asked if he could see it, he answered yes. Shortly after midnight, the ruins shifted, and everybody thought the rescuers would all be trapped. After thirty-one hours, the trapped firefighter was removed alive. He was trapped in a sitting position, his helmet still on saving his head from injuries. Water continually dripped on him and he would drink from this. His injuries were mostly minor cuts and bruises. The third firefighter was found only three feet from the one previously rescued. His head was crushed by a metal stair railing.”
On 1/6/1924 a Peoria, Illinois firefighter “died due to injuries sustained while fighting a “routine” house fire. The Peoria Fire Department answered a record nineteen alarms. The fatigue, along with the bitterly cold weather, hampered the men in the completion of their assignments, yet they stayed “in the harness” (wearing their heavy rubber coats and boots), always ready to answer the next alarm. At 1:56 p.m., Alarm Box 325 sounded, signaling a fire at 811 West Russell Street. Less than ¼ mile away, Engine Company 3 was the first to arrive. At that point, only the roof of the two-story frame house, owned and occupied by Frank Hunt and his family, was ablaze. Despite the cold weather, the firefighters managed to keep the fire from extending to adjoining structures, except for an adjacent house that sustained only minor damage. In a daring attempt to save Hunt’s house, a firefighter led a group of men onto the roof of the porch at the front of the house. As they began to hose down the second floor, fire suddenly burst through the roof. The fire-weakened roof joist gave way, and the large brick chimney collapsed on the firefighter. He was knocked to the ground and lay unconscious as his comrades rushed to his aid. Though wearing a heavy metal helmet, he was struck on the head by several masonry blocks and severely injured. Several other firefighters were also struck by the falling bricks. The critically injured firefighter was taken to Methodist Hospital with severe head injuries. He died less than 24 hours later, with his family at his side.”
On 1/6/1930 two Louisville, Kentucky firefighters died while operating at a major fire involving a lumberyard. The first firefighter “was off duty and driving his family in their automobile when he noticed a raging fire in the lumberyard of the Mengle Body Company. He parked his automobile at 15th & Oak Streets and told his family he would return as soon as he could. He entered a warehouse and attempted to activate a sprinkler head. But as he made his way through an elevated walkway that ran the length of the building, he came in contact with an electrical wire. When the current was shut off, he fell 55 feet to the concrete floor below. A total of 59 firefighters were injured fighting the blaze.” A second firefighter also died fighting this fire.
On 1/6/1956 a Tampa, Florida firefighter (the chief) died while fighting a fire at the Hillsborough Hotel on Florida Avenue. “While Fire Chief, he installed short wave radios to each piece of department apparatus, making them capable of relaying information about the nature of the fire immediately upon arrival rather than finding a nearby phone.”
On 1/6/1957 a Buffalo, New York firefighter “collapsed while operating at a 3-alarm fire at the Air Force Reserve Center, 2050 Elmwood Avenue. He died while being transported to Kenmore Mercy Hospital. The cause of death was listed as asphyxiation from smoke.”
On 1/6/1970 an East Harlem, Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter “was struck and killed by a diesel train on the Penn Central Railroad (now Metro-North RR). This happened after the electrical power was ordered off.”
On 1/6/1971 a Kansas City, Missouri firefighter working on Snorkel 2 “died when a ladder came in contact with wires.”
On 1/6/1973 three Chicago, Illinois firefighters died, and twenty-eight others were injured, battling a fire at Forum Restaurant, 64 W. Madison, in the Chicago Loop. The three firefighters died when the roof of the two-story Forum Cafeteria collapsed during a fire. “Dozens of firefighters responded to the extra-alarm blaze, and more than sixty were operating inside the building when the roof began to crack and pull away from the walls. Unbeknownst to the firefighters, flames inside the false ceiling on the second floor of the building had been eating away at the roof supports for several minutes. After seeing the roof buckle, officers began to pull the firefighters out, but not all were able to escape before the roof collapsed. Several firefighters were trapped and buried by the rubble, but firefighters were able to rescue most of their trapped colleagues before they suffered serious injuries. Some firefighters even escaped the rubble by sliding down a dumbwaiter shaft into the still secure basement of the restaurant.”
On 1/6/1981 two Boston, Massachusetts firefighters “died while operating at a building fire at 16-17 Arlington Street, Back Bay, when part of the upper floors collapsed, trapping them and four other members for hours. Several other firefighters were injured. It took several hours to remove all the victims, while the fire continued to burn above the trapped members. Eight alarms were transmitted on Box 1539, (Berkeley & Newbury Streets), with the 1st Alarm at 3:08 p.m. hours, and the 8th Alarm at 3:53 p.m. At 3:53 a Special Call was ordered for Rescue Company 2 and Ladder Company 30 to respond.”
On 1/6/2008 a Scranton, Pennsylvania firefighter was electrocuted while operating at a fire. “At 7:14 a.m. members of the fire department were dispatched to a fire in a residence. Upon arrival, firefighters found a working fire. The incident commander requested the response of the local electrical utility company to the scene. A utility company worker arrived at the scene and then departed. Two firefighters were on the platform of a tower ladder, ascending through power lines to position the ladder in a spot that would allow access to the upper floors of the residence or for ladder pipe operations. At approximately 7:42, four firefighters were electrocuted. Power from a 13,000-volt electrical line either arced to the ladder or the ladder came in contact with one of the lines. After power was shut off, the two firefighters on the platform were removed and treated. One could not be revived. Two residents of the home also died as a result of the fire, and three other firefighters were injured at the incident. It is unknown if the electrical utility worker was asked to cut power to the lines in the street or just from the street to the house.”
On 1/6/2012 a Pompano Beach, Florida veteran firefighter died after falling from an elevated truck ladder during training. “The aerial was fully extended at a climbing angle of approximately 65 degrees. He climbed the ladder for the second time during the session. For unknown reasons, he fell backward from the tip of the ladder, tumbled down within the rails of the ladder, came over the right side of the ladder, struck the right rear stabilizer (outrigger), and landed on the pavement.”
On 1/6/2018 a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania firefighter “died from the injuries sustained after being caught in an interior structural collapse at a fire.” “Fire department first alarm companies responded at 8:51 a.m. to the 2200 block of North Colorado Street, a side street off West Susquehanna Avenue near 17th Street. There was a civilian inside and removed by PFD firefighters, that civilian sadly perished… While operating, there was an interior structural collapse of the original fire building, and the companies of the Philadelphia Fire Department special operations unit and from Battalion 8 and 3 were able to enter the building and extricate the trapped firefighter who was pinned in the debris. It took the members approximately 30 minutes to free him. He was treated and transported to Temple Hospital.”
On 1/6/2015 a vehicle crash, which involved a fuel tanker truck, carrying approximately 10,000 gallons of fuel, and a utility truck collided around 12:30 a.m. in St. Petersburg, Florida at the intersection of Roosevelt Blvd and Gandy Blvd North caused the fuel tanker to rollover spilling the contents on the road. The fuel caught fire and spread down the road approximately two to three hundred yards; it took firefighters approximately 90 minutes to extinguish the fire and to get the scene under control.
On 1/6/2005 a train derailment in Graniteville, South Carolina involving a chlorine rail car ruptured, releasing 60 tons of Chlorine. “Nine people died (eight at the time of the accident, one later as a result of chlorine inhalation), and at least 250 people were treated for chlorine exposure. In total, 5,400 residents within one mile of the derailment were forced to evacuate.”
On 1/6/1916 Antigo, Wisconsin high school was destroyed by a fire that started in the boiler room of the heating plant and extended to the adjacent main building. The fire was not discovered until about 3:00 a.m. and was driven by a high wind.
On 1/6/1910 a gas oven explosion killed two at the Dahlstrom Metal Door Company in Jamestown, New York. “The explosion was caused by a collection of gas in one of the ovens which were maintained at an unusual degree of heat for enameling metal.”
On 1/6/1911 a 13,000-Volt short circuit at the Powerhouse of Electric Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota was destroyed by an explosion and fire that injured eleven and “plunged the city into darkness and almost paralyzed the commercial life of the city.”
On 1/6/1909 part of the town of Millheim, Pennsylvania was destroyed by a fire that burned for more than six hours. The fire started after a lit match was dropped in the stables of the hotel and rapidly extended to the hotel, two stores, a residence, and a barn.
On 1/6/1907 a fire at the American Hotel in Delhi, New York killed four, all were “permanent” guests. The fire was discovered in a third-floor apartment of the “big three-story frame structure.” “It is believed that the fire originated near the furnace though it had worked its way to the third floor before any of the occupants of the house were aroused.”
On 1/6/1903 a fire in Chicago, Illinois at the Hotel Somerset killed four people in an eight-story brick structure at Wabash Avenue and Twelfth Street. There were about one hundred guests in the hotel when it was believed that a guest accidentally ignited his bedclothes while smoking a cigarette.
On 1/6/1857 the State House in Montpelier, Vermont was destroyed by fire after smoke was discovered coming from the floor near the hot air register. “The fire-proof vaults of the offices of the State Treasurer, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs were unharmed.” Sparks and flying brands ignited the Roman Catholic Church, but it was quickly extinguished. The 150’ X 100’ State House was built of granite and rested on solid rock, standing 100’ tall from the ground to the top of the dome that was erected about 20 years before the fire.
On 1/6/1890 a gas explosion and fire killed five at Nottingham Mine in Plymouth, Pennsylvania.