10/4/1648 the first volunteer fire department was established in what will become New York City by Peter Stuyvesant.
10/4/1839 two Philadelphia, PA firefighters and five civilians were killed when “a fire destroyed 40 buildings and seriously damaged many others. The two firefighters were killed when they were caught under collapsing walls while operating at the fire.”
10/4/1922 four Philadelphia, PA firefighters died “while operating at an extremely smoky four alarm fire in a six-story brick warehouse. The four firefighters took an elevator and became trapped in the car by the fire. They were later found, dead of smoke inhalation.”
10/4/1930 a Brooklyn, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of injuries he sustained October 16, 1929, while operating at a two alarm fire at the Excel Furniture Company.”
10/4/1937 a Newark, NJ firefighter died while “he was battling a three-alarm factory fire at the Celluloid Corporation, when an explosion occurred. The tremendous explosion rocked the complex and showered the entire area with flaming debris. He was struck in the head by a falling steel girder which killed him instantly.”
10/4/1986 an Orange County, CA Fire Investigator “was killed after being shot while on duty. He was apparently talking to a woman about a building she owned that was involved in an arson fire back in July. Authorities said the gunman was wanted for questioning in the fire. The gunman that fled in a car, was later stopped at the Mexican border checkpoint as he tried to re-enter the United States. The gunman fired shots at the Customs Agents, who then returned fire, eventually killing him.”
10/4/1994 a Brooklyn, New York (FDNY) firefighter died from injuries he received “on August 7, after he was critically injured while conducting search and rescue operations on an upper floor of a building when he was trapped by high heat and heavy smoke conditions. He was burned over 40 percent of his body and received severe smoke inhalation injuries to his lungs. He had been on life support in the burn center for 58 days. He died on October 4 from his injuries. Fourteen other firefighters were injured in the blaze. Initial operations were hampered by a faulty fire hydrant across the street from the building.”
10/4/2014 Shanksville, PA a fire at the Flight 93 National Memorial destroyed the flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on September 11, 2001 and destroyed the headquarters complex of the memorial dedicated to the forty passengers and crew who died when Flight 93 crashed outside the town in southwestern Pennsylvania during the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.
10/4/2010 Bartles, OH five died and seven were injured in 12-bedroom house fire. “It was unclear whether smoke detectors were in use.”
10/4/1960 Kingsport, TN a chemical plant explosion at the Tennessee Eastman Company killed eleven and injured more than sixty around 4:45 p.m. The blast followed by several smaller explosions set off a fire which raged for more than three hours before it was controlled.
10/4/1926 Rockwood, TN a mine explosion killed thirty-two.
10/4/1906 Pocahontas, VA a mine explosion killed forty.
10/4/1932 Cochran, OR is destroyed by a forest fire.
10/4/1922 a forest fire killed forty-four in northern Ontario.
10/4/1910 a forest fire consumed the communities of Williams, Cedar Spur, and Graceton, Minnesota. “The fire approached Baudette and Spooner on the evening of October 7. As the towns rapidly became furnaces of flames; citizens gathered at the depot for safety. Victims of a typhoid epidemic were evacuated by train before a whirlwind of flame swept away the two towns and the bridge over the Baudette River that connected them.”
10/4/1871 a wildfire destroyed the towns of Vivian, Byron & Wilton, MN.