10/10/1915 three Richmond, Virginia firefighters died “after they ventured toward the walls of the Crenshaw Warehouse during a fire that was under control. The wall collapsed. One firefighter was instantly killed, while two others were badly injured, but their bodies were recovered and taken to the hospital, where they died a few hours later. Two other firefighters were also badly injured in the collapse, but both recovered from their injuries.”
10/10/1942 a Chicago, IL firefighter died from injuries he received “on October 8, 1942, when an air raid siren mounted on the roof of a Chicago firehouse caught fire during an air raid drill. The siren’s gasoline motor exploded and set fire to the roof of the Hook and Ladder Truck Co. 36 firehouse at 722 North Kedzie Avenue. Two firefighters climbed the ten-foot platform that the siren was mounted on to extinguish the blaze, but the flames forced them to jump back down to the station roof. Both firefighters were taken to Franklin Boulevard Hospital for treatment as they both suffered burns and one broke his hip when he landed on the roof. He died two days later from his injuries.”
10/10/1943 two Milwaukee, Wisconsin firefighters suffocated by a mudslide at Manegold Dump fire, on Hawley Road… “After quarrying ceased, leaving sheer rock walls a hundred feet high around part of the pit, the excavation became a dumping ground in the 1930s… It was an immediate nuisance. Fires sprang up amid tons of rubbish in the pit, though much of the quarry floor was a large lake. These fires were almost impossible to get at. On Saturday, October 9, 1943, a high wind fanned several smoldering trash heaps into a sizeable blaze, sending clouds of stinking smoke over the neighborhood. That alone was enough to send long-suffering residents after their Alderman. Besides the smell, flying sparks began to threaten Wells Street homes. Firefighters came out that afternoon, keeping a hose line working all through the night on rubbish below. But it did little good. Sunday morning, about 10 o’clock, the men of Engine 1 and Truck 3 laid out more hose, working three lines from the cliff while a fourth was laboriously carried down into the pit by two firefighters. Suddenly, about 12:15, a great embankment of high-piled trash caved over on the two men, burying them in suffocating muck five feet deep. Other firefighters, clambered down to the rescue, uncovering one firefighter in 15 minutes. But despite half an hour’s use of an inhalator, he was dead on arrival at County Emergency Hospital. The second firefighter could not be located in the mountain of rubble. To help with the search, 250 off-shift men responded to a special call; some descended cliff sides by rope, others came by rowboat across the lake in the bottom of the pit. Eventually, the second firefighter’s dead body was recovered.
10/10/1948 a Saint Petersburg, FL firefighter “died from the injuries he sustained after falling 3 floors from the Florida Theater Building during Fire Prevention Week demonstration.”
10/10/2006 a Baltimore, MD firefighter died at a residential structure fire in a rowhouse at 514 S. Macon Street. “Engine 41 was the first to arrive on the scene and found a working fire. Two occupants of the home had jumped from an upper story window and there were reports of other trapped occupants. Firefighters entered the structure to perform a search and fight the fire. At approximately 0300 hours, while two firefighters were advancing a charged handline up the interior stairs to the second floor there was an extremely rapid buildup of heat. Firefighters were forced to abandon the fire fight when parts of the second floor collapsed, the front door of the residence somehow became closed, and firefighters were trapped in the building. Other firefighters were able to rescue the firefighters from the structure. Somehow during the attempt to escape the structure, one of the firefighter’s helmet and facepiece were removed. The firefighter was transported to the hospital but was not revived. The cause of death was listed as smoke inhalation. The firefighter’s carboxyhemoglobin level at autopsy was 26 percent. The fire was caused by an electrical short in a water heater.”
10/10/1984 the Oles Inc., a hardware store, fire killed four people including a 2 y/o in South Pasadena, CA. The fire completely destroyed the store. Fire investigators determined the cause to be an electrical fire; John Orr, a fire investigator, insisted that the cause was arson; Orr would later be convicted as a serial arsonist. “John Leonard Orr was a fire captain and arson investigator for the Glendale Fire Department in Southern California. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Los Angeles was plagued by a series of fires that cost millions of dollars in damages and claimed four lives. John Orr was found to be the cause of most of those fires. During his arson spree, Orr was given the nickname the Pillow Pyro by arson investigators. His modus operandi was to set fires using an incendiary timing-device, usually comprising a lit cigarette, three matches wrapped in ruled yellow writing paper and secured by a rubber band, in stores while they were open and populated. He would set small fires often in the grassy hills, to draw firefighters, leaving fires set in more congested areas unattended.”
10/10/1980 in Independence, KY a fiery blast from the boiler killed a teenage student and injured thirty-three people as a dozen art students, painting Halloween goblins on Simon Kenton High School windows. “We heard a sudden hissing, like steam, coming from the wall … five seconds, and the whole wall blew up.” “A half-hour later, after some 1,000 students had fled the school, a second explosion rocked the building, triggering a fire and gutting three floors in the north wing” where the boiler room was added to the original 45-year-old building ten years before the explosion.
10/10/1916 in Madison, WI 1,500 students safely evacuate the main building that was destroyed by fire at the University.
10/10/1915 a fire destroyed a block of warehouses in the wholesale and tobacco district of Richmond, VA, a collapsing brick wall killed three firefighters and two watchmen.
10/10/1895 the Kansas City, MO Comique Theater was destroyed by fire.
10/10/1780 the Great Hurricane of 1780 ravaged Barbados late in the day and early October 11. Destroying the sugar cane fields and nearly all of the island’s buildings, including those made of stone and the island’s forts and military garrison. On October 11, the storm turned northwest passing over the island of Saint Vincent and nearby Saint Lucia; continued to Martinique, where a 25-foot storm surge claimed 9,000 lives. The Great Hurricane left much of the eastern Caribbean in ruins. An estimated 22,000 people lost their lives during the Great Hurricane of 1780. The famine that followed suggests that close to 30,000 died as a direct result of this storm. To date, it remains the deadliest Atlantic storm in recorded history.