10/2/1922 the first National Fire Prevention Week was proclaimed by President Warren Harding.
10/2/1888 a Chicago, IL firefighter died “while fighting a fire on the John Breedon tow barge. The boat’s coal elevator caught fire as it was unloading coal at the Chicago River docks on Erie Street (566 N. Kingsbury). Truck 3 was among the first fire companies to respond. The firefighter placed a fire department ladder along the side of the barge, but the boat shifted while he was climbing the ladder and he fell into the river. He surfaced twice to call for help, but his heavy coat and boots pulled him underwater. Firefighters dragged the river immediately, but were unable to rescue him before he drowned.”
10/2/1893 Omaha, NE the Farnam Street Theater fire killed a firefighter and injured six (five firefighters) when a wall collapsed after a fire destroyed the brick 77’ X 132’ four-story high front and five-story the rear building on the northeast corner of Fifteenth and Farnam Streets.
10/2/1908 two Youngstown, Ohio firefighters died at a mercantile fire. “When smoke was seen coming up from the basement around the radiators of a 5 & 10 cent store, firefighters were called to investigate. Finding a good working fire in the basement of the building, a general alarm was struck, bringing the entire department to the scene. After a futile 3-½ hour battle, the fire had spread through the four-story structure. As firefighters were operating on the roof, the roof suddenly caved in, carrying eight men to the basement. Rescue efforts were begun immediately and six of the men were recovered; two were dead when they were found.”
10/2/1908 a Portland, ME firefighter “died as a result of an electrical shock of heavy voltage at a still alarm at the Congress Square Hotel, 579-581 Congress Street, at 7:15 p.m.
10/2/1942 a Chicago, IL firefighter died at the Acme Truck Rentals/ Inter-state Trucking Company garage fire. “An acetylene welding torch started a 5-11 alarm fire at the Acme Truck Rentals/ Inter-state Trucking Company garage at 2930 S. Wells Street in Chicago, when a spark from the torch ignited a section of the garage’s wooden wall. Firefighters from the Chicago Fire Department were battling the flames when a wall collapsed on nine firefighters, burying them under tons of debris. One firefighter of Truck Co. 14 died immediately, and a second firefighter died from his injuries one day later at Mercy Hospital. More than $100,000 worth of equipment was lost in the fire, including truck tractors and tires that had been set aside to support United States efforts during World War II.”
10/2/1953 a San Francisco, CA firefighter “died of his injuries while operating at a two-alarm blaze in the historic Hoffman Grill at 619 Market Street. The firefighter had tripped over a hose line and fell, striking his head. He was dead on arrival at Harbor Emergency Hospital. The fire had stated in the basement of the Grill.”
10/2/1967 an Aitkin, MN firefighter “died from the head injuries he sustained after being caught in a wall collapse that occurred from an explosion.”
10/2/1983 a Cranston, RI firefighter “was electrocuted when he touched a disabled car that struck a utility pole guy wire in Warwick. Warwick police speculate that the firefighter was on his way to work shortly before 7:00 a.m. when he noticed the car against the utility pole. He apparently touched the car to see if anyone were trapped inside, and was killed by an estimated 7,200 volts that traveled through the car from a fallen electrical wire. The car caught on fire. The driver lost control of the car on the rain-slicked road, hit the pole, and then left the car and reported the accident to the police by telephone. Police say they cannot explain how the driver managed to get out of the car without being electrocuted.”
10/2/1997 two Carthage, Illinois firefighters died “while fighting a liquefied petroleum gas fire at a farm located near Burnside, Illinois, shortly after 4:30 p.m. The fire started in an operating grain dryer that was in the process of drying corn. The grain dryer was powered by a tractor and connected to two 1,000-gallon, horizontal liquefied petroleum gas tanks, and the fire quickly spread to the tractor and tanks. Firefighters responded to the fire from more than ten miles away in Carthage. As they approached the farm, the firefighters could see 30-40 foot flames shooting into the air, as the pressure relief valves on the liquefied petroleum gas tanks vented flames up into the sky. The first fire engine on scene was positioned behind a large grain silo and a pole shed, but the tailboard of the engine was slightly exposed and was directly in-line with one liquefied petroleum gas tank. The two firefighters were standing near the engine’s tailboard when a Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion (BLEVE) occurred. The broken tank shot like a rocket through the pole shed and struck both firefighters, instantly killing them.”
10/2/2009 a Yonkers, NY firefighter “lost his life battling a blaze at 149 Waverly St., after he ran into a burning building thinking that there were two women trapped inside. He jumped out a third story building, and he plunged at least 20 feet down, the men tried to deploy a rescue rope, but the fire suddenly flared up. It was over 700 degrees up on the third floor, he was trapped by flames and smoke, his radio wire was melted to his coat. Two other firefighters were hurt when they jumped with him from the window. One of the injured firefighters returned to work; the other retired. The fire was declared an arson. A Yonkers man who was evicted from his apartment at 149 Waverly Street lit the fire, and he was arrested on murder charges for the death of a firefighter.
10/2/1927 Rodamers, WV a locomotive boiler explosion killed two.
10/2/1901 Corunna, MI the six buildings of a furniture plant were destroyed by fire after a gasoline tank exploded.
10/2/1895 Jersey City, NJ a fireworks factory explosion and fire killed one and injured five in a 12’ by 20’ one-story frame structure used to make roman candles.
10/2/2013 Dandridge, TN eight died and fourteen injured in a bus, tractor-trailer, SUV fiery crash after the bus carrying a church group from North Carolina veered across the highway median.