On 2/26/1993 the World Trade Center (WTC) was bombed. The extremist attack killed six people, injured 1,165 and over 50,000 people were evacuated in New York after terrorist planted over 1,000 pounds nitrourea bomb, with hydrogen cylinders in Ryder Econoline van on the B-2 level parking garage beneath the northeast corner of the Vista Hotel causing massive destruction spanning seven levels, six below grade. “On Friday terrorist ignited the 20-foot fuse, and fled. Twelve minutes later, at 12:17:37 p.m., the bomb exploded in the underground garage, generating an estimated pressure of 150,000 psi. The bomb opened a 100-ft (30-m) wide hole through four sublevels of concrete. The detonation velocity of this bomb was about 15,000 ft/s (4.5 km/s), or 10,000 mph. The bomb instantly cut off the WTC main electrical power line, knocking out the emergency lighting system. Smoke traveled to the 93rd floor of both towers, including through the stairwells (which were not pressurized), and damaged elevators in both towers. With thick smoke filling the stairwells, evacuation was difficult for building occupants and led to many smoke inhalation injuries. Hundreds were trapped in elevators in the towers when the power was cut, including a group of 17 kindergartners on their way down from the South Tower observation deck, who were trapped between the 35th and 36th floors for five hours. Also, the loss of power, most of New York City’s radio and television stations lost their over-the-air broadcast signal for almost a week, with television stations only being able to broadcast via cable and satellite via a microwave hookup between the stations and three of the New York area’s largest cable companies, Cablevision, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable. Telephone service for much of Lower Manhattan was also disrupted… The terrorists’ planned to topple the North Tower into the South Tower, collapsing them both. The tower did not collapse, but the garage was severely damaged in the explosion… A report from the US Fire Administration states that, “Among the scores of people who fled to the roofs of the towers, 28 with medical problems were airlifted by New York City police helicopters”. It is known that 15 people received traumatic injuries from the blast and 20 complained of cardiac problems. One firefighter was hospitalized, while 87 others, 35 police officers, and an EMS worker were also injured in dealing with the fires and other aftermath.”
2/26/1920 six Brooklyn, NY (FDNY) firefighters from Engine 251 died at the Brooklyn Union Gas fire, Box # 33-543, 556 Kent Avenue. “Six members of Engine 251 lost their lives fighting a three-alarm fire in an oil storage tank at the Brooklyn Union Gas Company, Nassau Works at Kent Avenue and Rush Street. A fire started in the drip pan of a forty-foot long by ten-foot-high oil tank. The oil tank was burning under a corrugated iron shed. Engine 251, the first company to arrive, started working on the fire in the tank. Other companies were working on protecting the numerous other tanks in the area…Across the Basin (Wallabout Market), a bare 150 yards, were a dozen ships near the Navy Yard’s Cob Dock. North of the gas company plant was the powerhouse of the BRT subway. The combined efforts of the fire companies failed to stem the flames in the fuel tank. The heat became so intense that the windows in the main building began to crack. The Acting Chief ordered his men away from a smaller tank to pour more water on the surrounding buildings when the tank exploded. The flames flared point-blank into the faces of many firefighters, enveloping them suddenly, then clearing, leaving the men staggering back. Their faces and heads were burned almost black and they were dazed and almost crazed by the pain. As quick as it happened it was over. Other firefighters ran over to help their brothers. The other firefighters all survived after a long recuperating period. The fire caused very little damage to the complex and only damaged the one oil tank that exploded. Engine 251 had nine men that day, three members were with the apparatus at the time of the explosion.”
2/26/1866 a Philadelphia, PA firefighter died fighting a hardware store fire. “On arrival, firefighters found a hardware store heavily involved in fire. The fire quickly spread to a sprawling dry goods house, and a wholesale drug warehouse. At the height of the fire, firefighters were operating from and adjacent building in an effort to stop the spread of the blaze when, without warning, a wall of the hardware store collapsed onto the building, burying ten of the men under tons of debris. Firefighters immediately went to work digging out their trapped comrades and discovered that one firefighter had been killed in the collapse.”
2/26/1903 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) “died of injuries he sustained in a fall down burned-out stairs. He had fallen from the 5th-floor down to the 2nd-floor.
2/26/1907 two Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighters “died as a result of gas asphyxiation while operating at a stubborn two-alarm basement fire in a meat market. Many other firefighters, including the remaining members of Engine 26, were overcome by illuminating gas, ammonia and smoke.”
2/26/1908 a Philadelphia, PA firefighter “died from injuries he sustained at a single alarm blaze on February 4, 1908.”
2/26/1913 an Atlanta, Ga firefighter died while rescuing people from a building collapse. “Firefighters were called to the scene of a major building collapse, and found people trapped on the upper floors of the portion of the building that was still standing. They immediately went to work rescuing numerous people via ground ladders and Truck 1’s aerial ladder. As he was climbing the aerial, the front wall suddenly collapsed onto the ladder, pitching him to the street, where he was crushed to death by the falling wall.”
2/26/1913 a Baltimore, MD firefighter died “shortly after taking a hoseline into a burning three-story brick dwelling through billowing clouds of smoke, he staggered to the front door and fell to the sidewalk.”
2/26/1916 a New Castle, IN firefighter died “from the injuries he sustained the day before while operating at the Grand Theatre fire, when part of the roof and balcony collapsed on to him.”
2/26/1928 a Brooklyn, New York (FDNY) firefighter died after becoming overcome by smoke while operating at a fire.
2/26/1937 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter died of smoke inhalation while operating at a fire.
2/26/1947 a Chicago, IL firefighter died “while fighting a fire at 4144 W. North Avenue. He collapsed after he was overcome by smoke and heat while leading his company into the burning building. He was transported to Danish American Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.”
2/26/1984 a Spicewood, TX firefighter died at a wildland fire, “which was started by a rancher burning brush, and fed by 25-mph winds, jumped a four-lane state highway. On arrival, firefighters found fire on both sides of the highway and began firefighting operations, assuming police had closed the smoke-obscured highway. As the firefighter began stretching hose on the highway, he was struck by a civilian vehicle and critically injured. Moments later, the fire chief’s vehicle narrowly missed the injured firefighter, and those aiding him, and struck a pumper, knocking it into a ditch. The chief’s vehicle was then struck by another civilian vehicle. After the series of mishaps police finally closed the highway to all traffic except emergency vehicles.”
2/26/2001 a Grantsburg, Wisconsin firefighter died after he “was trapped when the roof of a building housing a restaurant and antiques shop collapsed, pushing the walls outward onto firefighters. The fire began as the result of a domestic dispute. Not knowing where the suspect (husband) was, the deputies had to keep the firefighters away from the fire for almost an hour until they secured the building. By the time firefighters were able to attack the fire, they were left with exterior defensive tactics only since the fire was in an advanced state. The collapse of about 40 feet of roof came suddenly and two firefighters were caught while trying to move away.”
2/26/2003 a nursing home three-alarm fire in Hartford, CT killed sixteen and dozens of the 148 residences, many non-ambulatory, were injured after a patient ignited bedding in her room with a lighter. The fire damaged several rooms and a wing of the facility.
2/26/2013 nineteen tourists died in hot air balloon fire near the city of Luxor, Egypt. “The balloon was about to land when a landing cable reportedly got stuck around a helium tube which started a fire. The balloon then soured up into the air as the fire set off an explosion of a gas canister. The balloon then fell approximately 1,000 to the ground crashing into a sugar cane field outside of al-Dhbaa village.”
2/26/1914 the Hartford, CT Auditorium was destroyed by fire, the building contained several stores, offices, a restaurant, and a theater.
2/26/1907 the Hochelaga Protestant School on Prefontaine Street Montreal, QB fire left nineteen kindergarten students and a teacher dead
2/26/1904 the Capitol Building in Madison, WI was totally destroyed by fire. “Wisconsin’s picturesque capitol, the pride of the state for decades, is in ruins.” “The origin of the fire is now believed to have been a lighted gas jet in a toilet room on the second floor.”
2/26/1904 a fire sweeps through the downtown area of Rochester, NY shortly before 5:00 a.m. The fire started in the basement of the Rochester Dry Goods, a store, located at 1516 Main Street
2/26/1886 the Vallambrosia Skating Rink was destroyed by fire in Troy, NY
2/26/1884 the Union Hall block in Jackson, MI was destroyed by fire; and containing four stores, a bank, a hotel and a theatre
2/26/1972 a dam collapsed in West Virginia flooding the Buffalo Creek Valley in Logan County, that killed 118 and left over 4,000 homeless