On 11/26/1978 an arson fire at the Holiday Inn-Northwest in the Town of Greece, 1525 West Ridge Road (near Rochester) New York “killed ten people and injured thirty-four. The building was constructed in 1963 and consisted of a wood-frame structure with interior hallways and 91 rooms. The building recently passed a fire inspection. The fire was started on the first floor between the north and west wings around 2:30 a.m. near a closet that stored cleaning supplies and paper products and spread rapidly through an open fire door. The fire alarm system was not tied to a dispatch center and although some people reported a bell ringing, they failed to realize it was the fire alarm bell. Investigators later determined that the fire broke windows in the hallways connecting the hotel’s two wings. Flames shot up to the roofs of both wings and swept through an open area between the room’s ceilings and roofs. Firewalls in the buildings did not extend to the roof, allowing the fire to rip through the top floor of each wing. The burning roof had collapsed into the top-floor rooms. About 170 people were rescued from the building by firefighters and passers-by. The fire killed ten victims, eight women, and two men; 34 people were injured. While hotel officials said the alarms were functioning, firefighters first at the scene said they were unable to hear the bells. Although the building met existing fire codes, it lacked some fire prevention equipment including smoke detectors and a sprinkler system. Additionally, the fire alarm system was not connected to the fire department or any other security agency, and there was only one vertical firewall between the two wings. The alarm system consisted only of one bell in the middle of each of the two wings. A New York City fire investigator brought in to assist with the investigation discovered that an uncommon, highly flammable liquid accelerant was used to start the fire inside a storage cupboard under the first-floor stairwell. The fire was officially ruled as an arson attack, but no one was ever charged.”
On 11/26/1965 the National Guard Armory in Keokuk, Iowa gas explosion and flash fire killed seven and injured most of the sixty to seventy persons in the building tragically ending a gala Thanksgiving eve square dance. The explosion originated in the basement in the area of the gas furnace. “The National Guard Armory was a cement block building with a self-supporting hoop roof until 9:25 p.m. when it turned into a burning pile of debris. The explosion, later attributed to natural gas, pushed the walls out, and the roof, which was made of wood trusses and roofing, fell. About 60 people, many of them members of the Swing Ezy Square Dance Club, were inside the armory either dancing to music on the record player. In the blink of an eye, only a few of them were able to walk away unburned, unbroken. Twenty-one died in all. Many of them are from burns.”
On 11/26/1952 fourteen women and children perished in a fire that swept a three-story brick 56-year-old building at the Huntington State Hospital, a mental institution that housed 275 patients in Huntington, West Virginia. The fire started in the basement shortly after 7:00 p.m. and burned for about two hours. The fire was confined to the first two floors, but thick acrid smoke traveled to the top level. “Huntington State Hospital, today is known as the Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital, was established by the legislature as an insane asylum in 1897 and called the Home for Incurables. At the time of its inception, the public viewed such hospitals as places where the mentally ill were placed to remove them from society for custodial care. The tall wire fence and iron gates gave the facility in Huntington the appearance of a penal institution rather than a hospital. The gates were taken away in 1950, and the gatehouse at the hospital entrance was removed in 1961. The site, consisting of 30 acres of land, was donated to the state by the Chamber of Commerce of the city of Huntington. On the eastern edge of Huntington, the hospital fronts on Norway Avenue. In 1901, the name was changed to West Virginia Asylum, and the patient census was 150. The peak patient population was about 1,460 in 1956. In 1916, the name was changed to Huntington State Hospital.”
On 11/26/1903 three Omaha, Nebraska firefighters died from the injuries they sustained, on Thanksgiving Day, when they were operating at a fire at the Allen Brothers Warehouse, located at 902-14 Jones Street. They were caught in the collapse of the building.
On 11/26/1908 an Albany, New York firefighter “died as a result of injuries he suffered while operating at a fire.”
On 11/26/1922 a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania firefighter died while operating at a “spectacular fire which destroyed the Capital Bedding Company at 14th & Howard Streets and severely damaged several other buildings. The firefighter was caught between two buildings and was overcome by smoke and flames before being rescued. As a result of inhaling superheated gasses, it affected his lungs and heart, and subsequently died suddenly of that affliction.”
On 11/26/1950 a Hendersonville, North Carolina firefighter died after a pool table fell on his neck after he fell through a partially burned floor. “He answered his last call at a fire that occurred at 241 North Main Street. The fire was at the business known locally as “Brunswick Lunch.” While working at the scene, he fell through the floor which had partially burned through during the fire. After falling through the floor, a pool table also fell through the floor striking him in the neck. He died of his injuries.”
On 11/26/1954 a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania firefighter “died after collapsing while operating at a basement fire at 1001 S. Bouvier St. He was taken to Graduate Hospital where he was pronounced dead.”
On 11/26/1957 a Bronx, New York (FDNY) firefighter died of smoke inhalation while operating at a two-alarm fire.
On 11/26/1988 a Flower Hill, Long Island, New York firefighter died in an arson fire while searching an apartment on Main Street after he became trapped and ran out of air.
On 11/26/2014 a coal mine fire left at least twenty-six dead and fifty miners injured in the Liaoning province of northeastern China. Caused by a 1:00 a.m. minor earthquake, magnitude 1.6, resulting in airborne coal dust ignited by a spark that ripped through the shaft. The mine opened in 1987 and produced 1.5 million tons of coal annually.
On 11/26/2012 a fire at a German workshop for the disabled killed fourteen people and injured eight others; after a fire broke out at a workshop for either mentally or physically disabled people in Germany’s Black Forest region, near the City of Freiburg. The center run by a charity usually had around 120 people in a variety of jobs including metalwork, woodwork, and electrical installation.
On 11/26/1983 around 11:13 a.m., a series of explosions and fires at the New York Pyrotechnics Products Company plant in Brookhaven New York killed two and injured twenty-four. A lack of adequate separation between buildings, trailers, and vehicles and the quantity of pyrotechnics loaded permitted the initial explosion and fire to initiate several other explosions and fires which extended to buildings, trailers, and vehicles throughout the facility.
On 11/26/1980 in Indian Trail, North Carolina a series of fiery explosions ripped through a chemical plant injuring fifty-five, five of them critically, and hospitalizing twenty-five. About 300 people, mostly women, were employed at the Radiator Specialty Company plant. The explosions apparently started on an assembly line at the. The company manufactures a variety of chemicals, many in aerosol cans.
On 11/26/1979 a Pakistani International B-707 in-flight fire killed 156, in Saudi Arabia.
On 11/26/1957 a five-alarm fire heavily damaged the Tabernacle Baptist Church at 17th and Wells in Milwaukee Wisconsin.
On 11/26/1936 in Fort Lee, New Jersey a 35-year-old wooden structure nightclub atop the Palisades overlooking New York City was destroyed by a rapidly moving fire.
On 11/26/1921 the Augusta, Georgia business district was destroyed by fire.
On 11/26/1897 a freight house and all the contents were destroyed by a fire that spread from the Clubb’s lumber yard; the Louisville and Nashville Railroad freight house was filled to the roof with merchandise in Pensacola, Florida.
On 11/26/1891 the St. Albans, Vermont conflagration destroyed the business district.