2/26/1993 the World Trade Center was bombed, six people were killed, 1,165 injured, and over 50,000 people evacuated in New York, NY after terrorist planted a nitrourea bomb, in excess of 1,000 pounds, 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.
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 this 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. An explosion in one of the tar tanks was what the firefighters were fighting. 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 pointblank 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. Two were dead, burned to a crisp. Eight firefighters were all taken to area hospitals. One died on February 28 from his injuries. On March 3, two more died a few hours apart. Both were badly burned in the fire. The last victim died on March 26 at his home. 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 a burned-out stair. The top three floors and roof of an eight-story commercial building were fully involved. He was killed when he fell through a fifth-floor fire-weakened stairway landing to the second floor. Many other firefighters were overcome and injured.”
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.”
2/26/1913 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. Around 1900 hours, New Castle Fire Department responded to a report of a building fire on North Main Street between Livery Alley (modern day Fleming Street) and Vine Street. The fire was reported by vaudeville performers in the northwest corner of the basement after their dressing room’s temperature rapidly increased. They exited the dressing room and found fire spreading from around the nearby coal furnace. After a delay in getting fire apparatus to the scene due to a large automobile tent show displaying 47 new 1916 cars on North Main between Broad and Livery Alley, The New Castle Fire Department arrived and reported a working fire. Unsure if all occupants escaped, four firefighters gained entry through the south entrance to the auditorium and found an advanced fire state within the building, including the stage and basement being totally ablaze. Burning unseen, the fire had gotten into the loft and started burning through structural members. While advancing a hoseline further into the building in what must have been an extremely aggressive interior attack for their day, portions of a balcony and roof began to collapse and struck one firefighter, pinning him to the floor. After the collapse, three members of the attack team backed out and made it safely outside, sustaining minor injuries, only to find the fourth member hadn’t been accounted for as exiting. The trapped firefighter sustained head and thoracic trauma rendering him unconscious and thereby unable to self-extricate. After a failed initial rescue attempt, a second rescue attempt with both firefighters and by-standers side by side, fought through intense heat and smoke, were able to find and remove him before the remaining roof and outer wall collapsed to where he was trapped. The firefighter was taken to Miller Hospital in Muncie. He passed away from the result of his injuries in the afternoon of the next day. The fire was determined to be caused by the coal furnace igniting debris placed too close to it, and was assisted with exposed dry framework, oiled flooring, nine tons of coal, and a strong, west wind.”
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.”
2/26/1984 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.”
2/26/2013 Egypt, nineteen tourists died in hot air balloon fire near the city of Luxor. “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.”
2/26/2003 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.
2/26/1914 Hartford, CT Auditorium was destroyed by fire, the building contained several stores, offices, a restaurant, and a theater.
2/26/1907 Montreal, QB the Hochelaga Protestant School on Prefontaine Street fire left nineteen kindergarten students and a teacher dead.
2/26/1904 Madison, WI the Capitol Building 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 Rochester, NY a fire sweeps through the downtown area that shortly before 5:00 a.m. in the basement of the Rochester Dry Goods a store at 1516 Main Street.
2/26/1886 Troy, NY the Vallambrosia Skating Rink was destroyed by fire.
2/26/1884 Jackson, MI the Union Hall block 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.