1/9/1912 the Equitable Building in New York, NY at 120 Broadway was destroyed by fire that claims the lives of six persons and a firefighter, slowing the business of the Stock Exchange and several banking houses. However, the contents of the huge vaults were not significantly damaged. The fire apparently started in the rear of the Cafe Savarin and extended to the elevator shafts that acted as chimneys, conveying fire directly to the roof, the flames mushroomed on several floors, in less than half an hour the interior of the entire building was in flames. Construction was completed on May 1, 1870 and was the first office building to feature passenger elevators. The eight-story building stood a then-record 130-feet, the world’s first skyscraper. The “spectacular fire destroyed an eight-story, block-square, life assurance building. As a result of employees who tried to fight the fire themselves, the alarm was delayed and allowed for heavy fire involvement of the first four floors before the arrival of firefighters. During the fire, two insurance officials, who were trapped in the basement vault section behind two-inch steel bars, were rescued after over an hour of arduous work by firefighters using hacksaws. Rescuers had to contend with falling debris and total building failure to rescue the trapped men. A firefighter was killed at this fire, in addition to six civilians, two of whom jumped to their deaths from the roof. The firefighter was killed when he was caught in a collapse on the fourth-floor while trying to make an interior attack on the fire. He was buried under tons of debris and it was several days before his crushed body was found at the third-floor level.”
1/9/1927 a fire at the Laurier Palace movie theater killed seventy-eight in Montreal, QB, caused by a cigarette smoldering beneath the wood floor. When smoke began to appear the 800 children that were watching a comedy called “Get ‘Em Young” panicked. One of two balcony stairways were locked, and the doors opened toward the inside.
1/9/1913 a Mobile, AL firefighter “lost his life when he was crushed beneath tons of falling brick, shortly after 7:00 p.m. while battling a fire at the Mobile Theater.”
1/9/1918 eight Chicago, IL firefighters die at a Chicago Avenue Theater fire. “Shortly after midnight firefighters from the Chicago Fire Department responded to a fire at the Chicago Theater, located at the intersection at 2120 W. Chicago Avenue and Leavitt Street. The fire spread quickly through the theater and a 4-11 alarm was raised, but firefighting efforts were impeded by a heavy snowfall. Firefighters were operating in and around the theater when a wall collapsed, trapping eight firefighters in the debris.” Four were killed instantly in the collapse, and four others suffered serious injuries, that would lead to their deaths.
1/9/1934 a Los Angeles, CA firefighter on January 3, 1934 “was overcome by smoke at a fire earlier in the day. Later the same day he responded to an electrical fire where a carbon-tetra-chloride extinguisher was used in a confined space. He went down again from the toxic fumes of the extinguisher. With lungs damaged for the second time in a shift he was transported to the Receiving hospital. He never returned to duty and died of pneumonia a few days later in January 9.”
1/9/1942 three Paul, MN firefighters “died from asphyxiated by smoke and heat at a fire in St. Paul Athletic Club, 344 Cedar. They fought the blaze in temperature of 2 degrees below zero and soon the streets and the buildings were covered in ice inches thick. They ran into the tap room in order to reach the card room and close some windows and a door there to prevent spreading of flames. Overcome by smoke and gas, the three of them perished. All three were taken into a billiard room, across the open court from the tap room, and rescue squads with inhalators worked to revive them. Their efforts were futile.”
1/9/1945 two Manhattan, New York (FDNY) died in “a six-story brick storage warehouse was involved in a very violent four-alarm fire. They were killed when the front wall collapsed on top of them as they operated a deck gun in front of the building. As this fire was being fought, two other simultaneous multiple-alarm fires occurred in a five-story brick piano factory and a five-story brick tenement in the same area. Many firefighters were injured and overcome at all three fires. Engine 36’s hose wagon was totally crushed and destroyed in the collapse, and Ladder 40’s tractor was also heavily damaged.”
1/9/1947 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of the injuries he sustained on December 31, 1946, when he and numerous other firefighters were caught in the collapse of a loft building. while operating at a four-alarm fire at 749 Broadway. A firefighter, who was also critically injured, died on January 4, 1947 as a result of his injuries.”
1/9/1960 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of the injuries he sustained while operating at a single-alarm fire.”
1/9/1999 a Worthington-Jefferson Township, Indiana “firefighter entered a structural fire in a house alone with a hose line. He was equipped with full turnout gear and an SCBA but was not equipped with a PASS device. It is believed that he tripped over a coffee table and became entangled in a couch. He removed his SCBA to call for help and was overcome by extremely heavy heat and smoke conditions. Firefighters on the scene attempted a rescue but were driven back by intense heat and flames and finally by the collapse of the house’s roof. His body was found approximately ten feet inside the front door of the structure. The cause of death was asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide.”
1/9/2008 a Boston, MA firefighter died from injuries he sustained at a fire on January 3. “He responded to a 2-alarm fire at the old John W. McCormack Federal Building, Post Office Square. The fire was confined to a ‘Bob-Cat’ and building materials on the 2nd-floor, which created a very heavy smoke condition on the upper floors. While ascending construction stairs, he caught his boot on the riser of the step and fell, striking and injuring his left elbow. The wound became infected with the Staphylococcus aureus and he developed cellulitis. He was hospitalized on 01/04/2008 and the wound on his elbow was drained on 01/05/2008. He developed pneumonia related to the injury and was aggressively treated until he succumbed to metabolic acidosis due to aspiration pneumonia, due to anasarca, due to staphylococcus septicemia on 01/09/2008.”
1/9/2015 a 3:00 a.m. house fire that started from a pot left on a gas stove in Tolaga Bay on the East Coast north of Gisborne, New Zealand killed an elderly couple. The home had a smoke alarm, but it is not clear if the alarm was working.
1/9/2014 Hammond Indiana house fire killed three children, ages 7 months, 3 and 4 years old and, injured three others, the doors appeared barricaded by furniture.
1/9/2014 San Jose, California a five-alarm warehouse fire; one of four fires worked in the city. The other fires included a two-alarm condominium fire and two small fires, damaged the 125,000-square-foot warehouse contained a number of roofing and plumbing supplies, plus additional materials that fueled a fire.
1/9/1974 an early morning fire originated in a TV set at the Orlando South Travel Lodge in Pine Castle, Florida. The occupants were able to escape from the second-floor room of origin. The latest in a series of 20 malfunctions in TV sets at this motel over the last year; 18 occurred in the preceding eight months.
1/9/1974 Wisconsin Dells, WI a landmark hotel, the Crandall Motor Inn, was destroyed by fire. “Arson is strongly suspected in the fire since the two buildings, which are located across the street from each other, broke into flames simultaneously.”
1/9/1972 the ship Seawise University (formerly the RMS Queen Elizabeth) sank after catching fire in Hong Kong Harbor and despite massive firefighting efforts.
1/9/1916 a fire destroyed a 200-foot-long 80-foot-wide corrugated-steel building belonging to Thomas Edison used to make carbolic acid; it is believed that the fire started from defective wiring. Edison stated: “I’ll have that building replaced within 48 hours!”
1/9/1889 the Citizens Gas Company in at Fifth and Smith Streets, Brooklyn, NY was struck by lightning followed by an explosion and fire at 7:30 p.m.
1/9/1891 the foreman of the asbestos mine in Pelham, MA placed a “powder cartridge” in the oven to warm it in the house where he boarded causing the cartridge exploded, setting the house on fire and seriously injured three.
1/9/1888 a boiler explosion attributable to defective machinery killed two and injured ten in Brazil, IN at the Central Iron and Steel Company.