On 1/8/1901 twenty-seven children and three adults were killed, and twelve others were injured at the Corn Hill Orphanage in Rochester, New York. The fire was discovered at 1:10 a.m. and was caused by a natural gas explosion in the boiler room in the west wing. On a bitterly cold night, the 109 children had all settled in for sleep around 8:00 p.m. “While some of the resident children were true orphans, most had some family, a single mother or a widowed father, and many paid $1.50 a week for board. The orphanage also received support from the City and County. The original orphanage moved to the Hubbell Park location in 1843 and expanded in 1844 and 1870. The brick West Wing was built in 1891. A gas jet was used to heat the steam for the flat iron in the laundry and someone left the gas jet open, closed the door to the laundry, and went about the rest of the evening activities. Sometime around midnight, the gas had filled the laundry room and escaped under the door and into the hall outside the hospital below the West Wing. When it reached the gas lamps there was a small explosion and a fire broke out. The janitor went directly to the boiler room and did not find a fire. As he left the boiler room he heard an explosion that was of sufficient violence to blow out the gas in the conservatory on the first floor. Everyone at the Asylum had been asleep and when woken, found dense smoke had filled the rooms. Confusion reigned. From the reports, some made their way to the roofs but no one appeared to have used the fire escape and many of the windows apparently could not be opened. The scene in the night was terrified children between the ages of 2 and 14, with sooted faces pressed against the windows, screaming for help. Within a half-hour, after the alarm was called, the building was blazing out of control… Tragically, 27 children lost their lives that night along with the infirmary nurse, cook, and caretaker of the boys. Several others died in the following days of smoke and burns and from the terror of the evening.”
On 1/8/1894 a Chicago, Illinois firefighter died while fighting a fire at the site of the World’s Columbian Exposition. “The fair had closed in October 1893, and many of the buildings were unoccupied at the time of the fire. Several popular fair buildings were destroyed in the fire, including the music hall, casino, quadriga, and peristyle. He was fighting the fire at the peristyle (a row of columns surrounding space within a building such as a court or internal garden) from the top of a ladder when he lost his balance and fell to the ground.”
On 1/8/1920 a Buffalo, New York firefighter died from the injuries he sustained after he was overcome by smoke, and fell off a roof. While searching the roof of a building at 145-147 Seneca Street, members became cut off from the ladder. He was leaning over a brick wall calling for help. As he reached for the ladder he was overcome by smoke and fell 25 feet, landing on another roof below.
On 1/8/1928 a York, Pennsylvania firefighter died “while operating at a fire involving a commercial garage, he was crushed to death after an explosion on the second floor of the burning building blew a wall out on top of him.”
On 1/8/1930 a New Haven, Connecticut firefighter “died of injuries suffered on January 7th at an ammonia leak in the Meat Market of E. Schoenberger & Sons, 360 State Street. He was in the basement with other members of his company to control the leak when the ammonia tank exploded. He was struck in the head with a flying piece of metal and found unconscious in the toxic ammonia atmosphere.”
On 1/8/1933 a Racine, Wisconsin died during a stubborn and smoky fire involving a fruit store. He entered a rear door leading to the smoke-filled cellar just ahead of two other firefighters. After a short time, he became separated from the two men and was declared missing. A rescue team entered the basement and found him lying unconscious in about a foot of water. A large piece of wood had fallen on him, apparently dislodging his mask.”
On 1/8/1960 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of injuries sustained while operating at a single-alarm fire at Box # 66-75-563, 8th Avenue.
On 1/8/1966 a Madison, Wisconsin firefighter “died of smoke inhalation while fighting a fire in the apartments above the Sergenian’s Carpet Store at 227 State Street.”
On 1/8/1979 a Youngstown, Ohio firefighter “was fighting a fire in a two-story frame house at 230 Carlton at 2:30 p.m. He was in a second-floor stairway when he uttered a sound and collapsed. He was removed from the structure and given cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until the department ambulance arrived. He died around an hour after arriving at Saint Elizabeth Hospital.”
On 1/8/2014 two people were killed and five injured in a fire that ripped through a group home for people with special needs in Santa Ana, California. Firefighters rescued two people from the burning licensed group home for developmentally disabled adults. Their 71-year-old caregiver suffered serious injuries, burns, and smoke inhalation trying to save two women trapped inside. The two women, ages 48 and 52, died in the fire, and three special needs residents, were treated for smoke inhalation. A firefighter was also injured during the rescue operations.
On 1/8/1982 a drilling rig explosion and fire near Radium, Kansas killed two and injured two about 24 miles southwest of Great Bend when workers were pulling pipe from the well after a test. Natural gas entered the engine’s breather causing it to race, while trying to secure the engines the explosion occurred.
On 1/8/1958 the Motor Vessel (M/V) Erling Jarl, a passenger ship, in Bodo, Norway caught fire and killed fourteen, fire regulations were enhanced after the fire.
On 1/8/1929 the Washington High School in Calumet, Michigan was destroyed by a fire that started in the chemical laboratory on the third floor and quickly spread to the entire building.
On 1/8/1912 the Hart-Parr Traction Engine Company was destroyed by fire in Charles City, Iowa. Nine tractors were damaged seriously, and three thousand gallons of oil burned beside a large amount of belting. The fire started from a worn electric wire near a can of naphtha. The building was uninsured.
On 1/8/1900 in Ashland, Wisconsin a conflagration caused extensive damage.
On 1/8/1896 the Hotel Baltzel in Lyons, New York, the largest hotel in Wayne County, was partially destroyed by a fire.
On 1/8/1897 near Chicopee, Kansas the Mount Carmel Company mine dust or gas explosion killed six around 6:40 p.m. The blacksmith’s shop and other buildings on the surface were damaged and the fire started in the timbering but was extinguished.