10/16/1967 the Cardinal Lanes Bowling Alley, located at 515 Anderson Ave. in Cliffside Park, N.J., was involved in a fire that left five firefighters dead. “Several crews from neighboring towns responded to the blaze, including five firefighters from the Ridgefield Fire Department, which was called on mutual aid. Several firefighters entered the building that day; tragically, the responding crew never made it back out…Because first-arriving units witnessed heavy smoke pouring out of all sides of the one-story building, mutual aid was requested from Ridgefield almost immediately. Engine 2, along with additional mutual aid, was dispatched to the scene. Upon arrival, the crew stretched two hoselines to a rear door, and prepared to make entry; however, upon opening the door, there was an explosion that collapsed the roof. “We were pumping water through the door to spray the roof from inside,” said the sole survivor of the Ridgefield crew. “All of a sudden I saw a big gush of smoke backfire and come out of the building.” He shouted for others to get out. The force of the collapse threw him 25 feet, and caused a subsequent cinder-block wall collapse, at the rear of the building, which trapped about a dozen firefighters who had been working in the area. Other firefighters on scene attempted to dig out all the buried men. In addition to the loss of the five firefighters from Ridgefield, several other firefighters were injured, one seriously. Approximately 130 firefighters from eight towns battled the blaze, which was labeled as arson and totaled about $80,000 in losses.”
10/16/1940 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter died “while fighting a smoky fire in the rear hallway on the ground floor of a six-story tenement at 254 to 256 West 146th Street, after working for twenty minutes, he collapsed at 8 o’clock at night. He was taken to Harlem Hospital, where he died of carbon monoxide poisoning at 8:40.”
10/16/1949 two Manhattan, New York firefighters of the Fire Patrol “were backing out of a burning building involved in a two-alarm fire, the floors suddenly collapsed, trapping two members of Fire Patrol 3 who were spreading covers over the lunch counter on the first floor. It took firefighters over 15 hours to find the body of the first, and 24 hours to reach the second body.”
10/16/1970 a Boston, MA firefighter “died at 0230 hours from injuries and severe burns after a taxicab’s gasoline tank exploded on September 19, 1970, in front of 18 Dorchester Street, South Boston, Box 7316, (West 2nd & Dorchester Streets). He was burned over 90 per cent of his body.”
10/16/1979 a Miami, Dade County, FL firefighter “died while fighting a fire in south Dade County. He collapsed while handling the hose during a boat fire in Florida City. Because the fire involved no injuries, a rescue unit had been sent back to the station and had to be called back when he collapsed.”
10/16/2000 a Cape Charles, Virginia firefighter died while operating as “the backup person on a 2-½ inch line that was being operated on a well-involved three-story wood frame residence. He collapsed, medical care was immediately initiated by the firefighter that had been on the nozzle. He was treated by EMS personnel on the scene and transported to the hospital. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. The fire was caused by arson.”
10/16/1987 Baby Jessica was rescued from a well in Midland, TX after 56 hours. Jessica Morales née McClure (born March 26, 1986) became famous at the age of 18 months after falling into a well. The story gained worldwide attention (leading to some criticism as a media circus).
10/16/1996 a stampede killed eighty-four and injured more than 100 at World Cup match in Guatemala City. Approximately 60,000 fans came to the stadium with a capacity of only 45,000 and push their way into the venue through a narrow passage. “Fights that broke out in the crowd exacerbated the situation, which ended in a panicked stampede.”
10/16/1996 a fire started around 11:13 a.m. at the Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, MA in a nurses’ lounge on the third floor near the ICU/CCU from a plastic hospital tray placed on top of a stove. Two sprinkler heads activated in the room of origin limiting the fire damage to that room and there were no injuries or fatalities. Forty patients were evacuated.
10/16/1991 gale-force winds were responsible for 92 separate wildland fires in Spokane, Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan, and Pend Orielle counties in Washington State. One hundred fourteen homes and numerous other structures were destroyed.
10/16/1986 around 7:29 p.m. about ½ mile outside of Woodruff, Utah, a semi-truck transporting 63 head of cattle crashed into piping for two stationary LP-Gas storage tanks holding 18,000 and 30,000 gallons of fuel and immediately started a fire with flame impingement on the tractor and the storage tanks. A BLEVE of the 18,000-gallon tank occurred about ½ hour after the accident, propelling pieces of the tank in all directions, the largest struck a building about 2,600 feet from its mounting. Fearing a second BLEVE, the town was evacuated, and let the tank continue to burn; by 5:30 a.m. the burning gas and of flame impingement decreased dramatically. At sunrise firefighters entered the area and extinguished the remaining secondary fires.
10/16/1953 Boston, MA the USS Leyte carrier explosion killed thirty-nine.
10/16/1907 a fire raged for two hours destroying two blocks of Plant City, FL. The fire origin is unknown. Flames were discovered in Herring dry goods store on the south side of the railroad and rapidly spread to other buildings
10/16/1937 Slippery Rock (PA) State Teachers’ College North Hall was destroyed by fire that started around 5:20 a.m.
10/16/1884 Montello, WI Opera House and Bank were destroyed by fire that started around 2:00 a.m.
10/16/1912 Fort Worth, TX the Broadway Baptist Church ceiling falls during a wedding, injuring twelve.