10/20/1944 “a natural gas “spill” and fire in Cleveland, Ohio around 2:15 p.m. killed 130 and injured 225 when a cylindrical tank failed and released the contents into the nearby streets and sewers that promptly ignited. A second tank toppled over after about 20 minutes later releasing 9,400 gallons of LNG that ignited; the accident was due to the low-temperature embrittlement of the inner shell of the cylindrical tank.”
10/20/1860 a Perth, Ontario, Canada firefighter “died from injuries after being struck in the head at a church fire.”
10/20/1918 a Detroit, MI firefighter “died from a skull fracture sustained after a wall had collapsed on him while fighting the Water Works fire.”
10/20/1964 a San Francisco, CA firefighter “died from the injuries he sustained while operating at the Tin Yan Jan Sausage Company fire, at 1041 Stockton.”
10/20/1985 a Bronx, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died from the injuries he received on October 11. The fire at 634 Prospect Avenue was on the fourth floor. While operating on the fourth floor, he sensed the ceiling was about to collapse. He pushed two of his men into the hallway, but the burning ceiling came down on him, trapping him. Before he could be pulled out sixty-five percent of his body was burned. He succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.”
10/20/1986 an early morning fire at 506 Reynoir Street, Biloxi, Mississippi killed two firefighters in a two-story, wood-frame building originally built as a single-family dwelling, but had been converted into a seven-unit apartment building with numerous combustible concealed spaces in the walls and above the second-floor ceiling. The electrical fire originated in a joist space between the first and second floors in a concealed combustible wall cavity and spread to the attic. The house was improperly drawing a portion of its electricity from a wire strung to an adjacent home… “The severe fire burning in the concealed space created an extremely dangerous condition, which the firefighters were attempting to remedy. Unknown to others, two firefighters entered the building without a hoseline and subsequently died in a second-floor bedroom. Both were equipped with full protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus.” “While fighting the blaze, one firefighter air tank ran low but the alarm on his tank didn’t sound to alert him. When the second firefighter saw the first firefighter go down, he ran to help and threw his helmet out a window, a firefighter’s last means of alerting the others of distress. Nobody saw it. The two firefighters perished in the blaze, one trying to save his brother in uniform.”
10/20/1991 in Oakland CA a fire storm killed twenty-five, including a police officer and a firefighter, and injured 150 people destroyed 2449 homes, 437 apartments, burned 1600 acres, an estimated 1.5 billion dollars damages, and took 4 days to control. “During a raging wildfire and ensuing firestorm, which burned out of control for two days, an Oakland, CA firefighter was electrocuted while attempting to shield a woman from a falling power line. The Oakland police officer was killed when a wall of flame swept over him as he tried to lead four people to safety.”
10/20/2009 three people were killed in a home fire in Henrico, VA.
10/20/1973 an early morning fire killed two of the 250 guests and spread throughout the first floor of this two-story motel causing severe damage. There was a 35-minute delay in notifying the fire department. The fire started in a guest room and spread by burning through the plywood-on-wood-stud walls; wood wall coverings and combustible ceiling tiles contributed to the fire spread in the corridor.
10/20/1873 the International Association of Fire Chiefs was founded in Baltimore MD.
10/20/1728 the Copenhagen, Denmark conflagration destroyed most of the city.