2/2/1978 Chester, Delaware the Wade Dump fire, “a spectacular general-alarm fire involved the illegal three-acre, ABM-Wade hazardous material dumpsite. It was estimated that over 20,000 drums, containing more than 100 different kinds of highly toxic chemicals, and several warehouses, were involved in the fire. During the fire, firefighters had their clothes and turnout gear literally eaten off their bodies by the chemicals burning in the fire. It took firefighters from several towns 18 hours to bring the fire under control. After the fire, forty-eight firefighters were treated for respiratory problems and skin rashes that lasted for months. In the 10 years that followed, four firefighters, two police officers, a city highway worker, and a mailman, died of various cancers following the fire. The highway worker assisted in the cleanup and the mail carrier worked a route next to the dump. Another nine men were also suffering from various cancers. There are still those that are dealing with the effects to this day. A massive lawsuit was initiated against 50 companies whose products were identified at the dumpsite.”
2/2/1889 Buffalo, New York, “firefighters found a leather factory fully involved in fire. The fire rapidly grew to general-alarm proportions as it destroyed two factories, two hotels, and an entire city block. A firefighter was killed when he was caught under a collapsing wall and the Fire Chief suffered a nearly severed arm due to falling glass. Ladder 1’s aerial ladder truck was also destroyed in the collapse.”
2/2/1900 a Philadelphia, PA firefighter died from smoke inhalation at 17-19 S. 6th Street.
2/2/1924 a Chicago, IL died while fighting a fire at John M. Smythe & Company at 1016 West Madison Street. “Five floors of the six-story warehouse were engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on scene. He was operating from a third-story fire escape when the fire escape collapsed, and he fell three stories to the sidewalk below.”
2/2/1947 a Minneapolis, MN firefighter “died of injuries sustained at a fire in the Hull-Dobbs Auto Sales garage at 2610 Hennepin Avenue South on January 23, 1947. He was on the building’s first floor cutting holes to get at flames in the basement when the floor suddenly collapsed. Flames and smoke prevented rescuers from reaching him for more than an hour. He was found seriously injured and died 10 days later. Three firefighters died on the day of the fire.” This fire caused the second worst life loss to firemen of any blaze in the City’s history.
2/2/1956 two Boston, MA firefighters “died after being caught in a roof collapse at the Sons of Italy Hall, 65 Trenton Street, in East Boston, 4 alarms, Box 6172, (Marion & Trenton Streets, East Boston, on January 29, 1956. The Chief of Department, John V. Stapleton, had just ordered all companies out of the building. Firefighters were attempting to get a hose out of the building. Chief Stapleton yelled, “Leave the hose” just as the collapse occurred. If the order had been made a few moments later, the toll could have been much higher.” The first firefighter died the day of the fire (1/29/1956) the second firefighter passed on 2/2/1956.
2/ 2/1960 a San Francisco, CA firefighter “died while operating at a dwelling fire.”
2/2/1988 a Buffalo, New York firefighter was killed when he was caught under a collapsing wall while operating at a fire.
2/2/2016 a huge fire in a Gazipur, Bangladesh broke out at a sweater factory. The factory is a major supplier to US retailers. Fortunately, most of the factory’s 6,000 workers were not yet on the premises. The fire started around 7:00 am.
2/2/1973 the Coast to Coast Hardware store fire killed thirteen in Eagle Grove, IA after a 6:18 p.m. A gas explosion destroyed the store and adjoining café, a witness smelled gas before the explosion.
2/2/1922 a gas explosion at the Frick Coke Company along the Monongahela River in Gates, PA killed twenty-five at 1:30 a.m.
2/2/1913 York, Nebraska conflagration.
2/2/1890 Washington, D.C. a house fire killed the wife, a daughter, and a “servant” and injured the Secretary of the Navy Tracy at 7:00 a.m.
2/2/1889 Pittsburgh, PA a towboat boiler explosion killed three at 1:15 p.m.
2/2/1887 the 1st Groundhog Day was celebrated at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, PA; rooted in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when the clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The Germans expanded the tradition selecting an animal, the hedgehog, as a means of predicting weather, when immigrants settled in Pennsylvania they switched to the groundhog… Marmot Day, a group of large squirrel-like animals that includes groundhogs, woodchucks and ground squirrels, was celebrated in Alaska.