2/27/1975 New York Telephone exchange fire was the largest loss of telephone service in the U.S. until 9/11/01 when the main distribution frame was destroyed at the telephone building at 204 Second Ave & East 13th Street. The building was erected in two phases: The first three floors were completed in 1923 and an additional eight stories were added in 1929-1930. The 11-story telephone switching center fire progressed to a five-alarm and involved PVC-sheathed wiring, PCB-laced transformers, and obsolescent electromechanical panel switches and crossbar switching equipment. The fire disrupted service for 175,000 customers, connected within the building through 105,000 service loops… “Just after midnight, a short circuit in the basement cable vault started a fire. Fifteen employees were working in the building at the time. An internal alarm was sounded at 12:15 a.m. when smoke was discovered in the third-floor subscriber distribution frame. The first call to the fire department was a street call box around 12:25 a.m. Upon arrival, firefighters found that the entire building was filled with smoke with the heaviest on the lower floors. It was difficult to pinpoint the source of the fire. Windows were constructed with wire mesh glass and further shielded with plastic or metal screens to protect switching equipment. The steel dust shields and wired glass presented obstacles. The fire had spread to the first floor through a narrow slot that passed cable up to the distribution frame. The fire progressed vertically through cable chases. Firefighters attempted to apply foam into the cable vault only to have the foam drain into a sub-basement. The fire was declared under control at 4:46 p.m. it burned for over 19 hours before being completely extinguished. The fire had destroyed 488 vault cables and all equipment on the first and second floors and damaged switching equipment up to the top floor. The fire cut off telephone service to a 300-block area of Manhattan that included three hospitals, three police stations, two universities, and the main headquarters of ConEdison. Twenty-three days later service was restored entirely. No firefighters were killed at the telephone building site, but many later developed cancer attributed to the chemical toxins that were released during the fire.”
2/27/1873 three Boston, MA died at a mattress factory fire at 154 Hanover Street, near Hanover and Blackstone Streets. Two firefighters died when the front wall collapsed at Sammett’s Mattress Factory. A third firefighter was killed when he was thrown from a ladder, which had been pushed out by falling walls. Three-Alarms were transmitted from Box 17 (Hanover & Endicott Streets), at about 10:00 a.m. Thirteen others fire department members were injured, and two civilians were killed.
2/27/1898 Kalamazoo, MI a fire and explosion at Hall Brother’s’ Laboratory around 10:00 p.m. claimed the lives of five firefighters while they were operating on the second-floor when a series of explosions knocked out a wall resulting in a partial collapse.
2/27/1869 a Cleveland, OH firefighter “died as a result of injuries sustained the previous day, when he was caught under a collapsing wall while operating at a major fire involving a commercial building at the New England Block, 45 Broadway.”
2/27/1912 a Philadelphia, PA firefighter “died from injuries he sustained after a wall had collapsed.”
2/27/1930 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of injuries sustained the previous day, when he fell down an elevator shaft from the fourth floor to the sub-basement while operating at a fire at the International Telegraph Building at 67 to 81 Broad Street.”
2/27/1962 a Wilmington, DE firefighter “died from the effects of smoke inhalation, while operating at a three-story building fire at 81 W. Street.”
2/27/1962 a Des Moines, IA firefighter “died after being overcome by smoke while operating at a fire.”
2/27/1971 a Windsor, Ontario, Canada firefighter died at a fire in the J.T. Wing Building on Pitt Street East. “With nothing showing from the outside, firefighters went to investigate, and found heavy smoke on the inside after they opened the door. The Captain of Engine 2 also noticed smoke from the rear of the building while on another run and the alarm was struck for a working fire at 10:46 a.m. With winds gusting up to 80 mph, and bricked up first floor windows, the fire escalated to a fourth alarm, with five engines, four ladders, and two squads with about 50 firefighters. They had gone to a defensive operation with ladder pipes and deluge guns. With ⅔ of the department on scene, a call was put out to bring in all off-duty firefighters. A firefighter climbed up Ladder 4-A, which was extended 72 feet in the air, with the ladder pipe operating, to adjust the nozzle. While at the nozzle, the ladder pipe broke apart and the barrel of the pipe broke away, causing it to whip around and throw the firefighter off the ladder. He crashed head-first into the wall of the building and fell to the street. An Ambulance on scene rushed him to the Hotel Dieu Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from his injuries at 6:05 p.m.”
2/27/1986 an Atlanta, GA firefighter died “while operating at a three-alarm fire that destroyed the Shook & Fletcher Insulation Company at 95 Milton Avenue, S.E. He was caught under a collapsing wall. It took firefighters about 15 minutes to dig out their fallen brother.”
2/27/1994 an Auburn Hills, Michigan firefighter “died when the floor collapsed under him while conducting operations at a house fire. He and two others had entered the house through the kitchen with a hose line to try to reach a fire located in the basement that had been burning for approximately 40 minutes. The officer in charge of the attack crew ordered them to evacuate the house due to the spongy feeling of the floor as they approached the basement stairs, but the floor collapsed beneath the victim before he could escape. The fire was ruled incendiary in nature, with a high fire load of combustibles in the basement, contributing to the floor collapse.”
2/27/2018 two Moscow (Russia) firefighters and two children were killed at a fire in a 16-story multi-family dwelling. “The fire occurred north of central Moscow. Firefighters were able to rescue four people, including three kids from the burning apartment. During the fire, there are indications that there was wind driven conditions that contributed to the deaths of the firefighters. The firefighters rescued numerous tenants out of the burning apartment, and then returned to rescue the neighbors of the fire victims; but were caught when wind driven fire conditions filled the hallway.”
2/27/2014 an early morning fire severely damaged Mitchell Elementary School in Racine Wisconsin causing the gymnasium roof to collapse. Near-zero outside temperatures complicated operations.
2/27/2014 a 3:12 p.m. fire in Building G of the Scott Village Apartment Complex at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Pacific Campus, displaced forty-eight students. Careless disposal of smoking materials is listed as the cause.
2/27/2014 five people were killed and thirty-five injured when a fire broke out in a bus with about fifty people on board in China’s Guizhou province.
2/27/2013 twenty people were killed, and six others injured in a devastating fire on the first two floors of a building housing market in Kolkata, India.
2/27/1978 a train derailed near Youngstown, (Bay County) FL releasing a chlorine gas cloud that killed eight and eighty people were treated at hospitals for the effects of the gas. Approximately 2,500 people within a five-mile radius were evacuated after forty-three cars of the Atlanta and Saint Andrews Bay freight train jumped the tracks about 2:00 a.m.
2/27/1943 a mine explosion killed seventy-four at the Montana Coal and Iron Company near Washoe and Bearcreek, MT; “miners claimed methane gas had built up in some abandoned shafts and was ignited after a cave-in.”
2/27/1932 the Boissevain coal in Pocahontas, VA mine explosion killed thirty-eight
2/27/1905 eleven river front blocks of New Orleans, LA were destroyed by fire that started at 5:00 p.m. flames spread down river by a strong wind.
2/27/1901 a Diamondville, WY mine fire killed eighteen.
2/27/1897 the Jackson, MI Hibbard Opera House was destroyed by a fire that started from the furnace in the basement and spread rapidly.
2/27/1881 seventeen children died in Scranton, PA at the St. Patrick’s Orphanage fire. The fire is believed to have started as a result of a defective flue.
2/27/1933 – The Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building, in Berlin, was set on fire that started in the Session Chamber; four weeks after Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany. Nazis accused Communist for the fire, civil liberties were suspended, and mass arrests of Communists instituted, including all of the Communist parliamentary delegates, giving Hitler and the Nazis control of the government.