On 11/17/1986 the Learn Not to Burn® Foundation was incorporated in Quincy, Massachusetts. A fire safety education program, available to elementary school children, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) curriculum, includes activities to teach fire safety behaviors for children to understand and remember. The program is credited with saving many lives.
On 11/17/1885 three Baltimore City, Maryland firefighters died at a general alarm fire that destroyed a four-story-brick patent medicine factory. “Truck 2 was unable to raise their ladder to the roof due to a maze of overhead power lines, so seven firefighters, manning three lines, worked from the upright ladder, pouring tons of water onto the fire. Suddenly, the ladder started to fall back but then stopped. However, the weight of the men and hoses on the ladder caused the truck to turn onto its side, pitching the aerial backward into the roof of the house opposite the fire building. One firefighter was thrown onto the slanted roof of the house and then fell to the pavement, where he was killed. A firefighter was pinned between the ladder and the eaves of the roof and then fell to his death. Another firefighter was thrown into the second floor through a window and was killed. Another firefighter was seriously injured but recovered, and the remaining three men were able to ride the ladder down, suffering only minor injuries.”
On 11/17/1919 a Hays, Kansas firefighter “died while operating at a fire on Ninth and Oak.”
On 11/17/1939 a Brooklyn, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died of smoke inhalation while operating at a single-alarm fire.”
On 11/17/1962 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter “was overcome by smoke and badly burned at a tenement fire. The fire was in a five-story apartment building that left sixteen families homeless.”
On 11/17/2014 at least eighteen workers died and thirteen were injured of the 140 occupants in a fire at a food packaging plant in China’s eastern Shandong Province in the city of Shouguang. The fire started in a carrot packaging workshop, belonging to Longyuan Food Company, by a “faulty freezer.” In 2013 China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that nearly 70,000 people lost their lives in China in 2012 as a result of workplace accidents.
On 11/17/1923 in Farmville, Virginia the College for Girls & the State Normal School was destroyed by fire, forcing nearly 500 women from the building around 4:30 a.m.
On 11/17/1902 a dynamite explosion killed two and injured ten after a fire broke out in a freight depot around 4:00 a.m. in Pell City, Alabama
On 11/17/1864 the Pawtucket, Rhode Island Congregational Church was destroyed by a fire that extended to other buildings in town.