FIREFIGHTER HISTORY 2/9

On 2/9/1858 a New Haven, Connecticut firefighter “died after being shot during a riot. An altercation between Yale students and the firefighters of Engine Company 2 erupted and a riot ensued. Shots were fired, and one firefighter was shot and killed. Several of the students were arrested, but through the mediation of the faculty, the case was settled. The club the students belonged to was ordered to disband and purchased the engine house so that the company would be removed to another location.”

On 2/9/1928 a Chicago, Illinois firefighter died when he was electrocuted while fighting a residential basement fire at 5529 South Wabash Avenue. “Firefighters had little trouble extinguishing the small blaze, but five of them came into contact with an exposed live wire as they were leaving the basement. He and another firefighter were seriously injured, and the electrical shock also knocked the other three fighters to the floor, but they quickly recovered and were able to pull their two injured colleagues away from the wire. An inhalator squad attempted to revive the downed firefighter, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigations into the death determined that many of the electrical wires in the building were not properly insulated or fastened.”

On 2/9/1929 a Houston, Texas firefighter died in a residential fire at 2704 Congress Street. The house was heavily involved in a fire. “Engine 10 arrived on the scene, and stopped at the fire hydrant down the block. The firefighter got off the back of the fire engine to hook a hose line to a fire hydrant when Engine 10 proceeded to the fire. A hose coupling caught in the bed of the pumper pulled the end of the hose like a slingshot from the grasp of the firefighter. When this happened, the hose couple hit him in the head, killing him instantly.”

On 2/9/1931 a Buffalo, New York firefighter “died while operating in a basement fire at 575 Main Street, after he was overcome by smoke and went to the street from fresh air. Once outside he learned that men were trapped inside. He re-entered the building and went to the basement to locate the two missing members. Upon exiting the building, crews realized that one of the firefighters attempting the rescue was missing, and they returned to search for him. He was located unconscious in the flooded basement and removed. His brother, a doctor, was notified and worked on him for almost two hours, but was unable to revive him.”

On 2/9/1953 an Atlanta, Georgia firefighter died “while operating at a seven-alarm fire, which destroyed a railroad depot. He was killed instantly, and thirteen other firefighters were injured, some seriously when they were caught under a collapsing wall.”

On 2/9/1955 three Muncie, Indiana firefighters “died as a result of the injuries they sustained after a wall had collapsed while they were operating at the Schwartz Paper Company fire.”

On 2/9/1955 a Brooklyn, New York (FDNY) firefighter died as a result of injuries sustained while operating at a fire on February 1st.

On 2/9/1979 a Wichita, Kansas firefighter lost his life when he was trapped inside a house fire at 1202 N. Emporia Street.

On 2/9/1979 a Kansas City, Missouri firefighter was killed, and three firefighters were injured while operating at a fire in a three-story frame apartment house. They were operating an exposure line in the alleyway when the cornice collapsed on top of them.

On 2/9/2007 a Baltimore, Maryland firefighter “and the members of her Fire Academy Class were attending a live-fire training exercise in a vacant row house in Baltimore. The firefighter who would die from her injuries was assigned to a group of apprentices and an instructor designated as Engine 1. Her group advanced a dry attack line into the structure. As they climbed the stairs, the line was charged. Engine 1 encountered and extinguished a fire on the second floor but did not check the rest of the second floor for fire before proceeding to the third floor. On the third floor, they encountered and began to extinguish a fire on that floor. Fire conditions began to worsen, with a marked increase in smoke and heat that appeared to be coming from the second floor. Engine 1 firefighters who were on the stairs began to receive burns from the fire conditions. The instructor for Engine 1 climbed out a window at the top of the stairs and helped one burned firefighter escape to the roof. The firefighter appeared at the window in obvious distress and attempted to escape. The windowsill was unusually high (41 inches) and she was unable to escape. The firefighter momentarily moved away from the window, at which time she advised other firefighters to go down the stairs to escape. When she returned to the window, her self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) facepiece was off and she was beginning to receive burns. She was able to get her upper body out of the window, but she could not make it through. Firefighters on the exterior were unable to pull her through until firefighters were able to gain access to the interior and assist with the effort. When the firefighter was pulled to the roof, she was in full cardiac and respiratory arrest. She was immediately removed from the roof and received advanced life support care and transportation to the hospital. She was pronounced dead at 12:50 p.m. The firefighter received total body surface burns of 50 percent. The cause of death was listed as thermal burns and asphyxiation. Mayor Dixon requested the assistance of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to investigate the incident. The investigative team found many of the same violations and contributing factors as were noted in BCFD’s preliminary investigation. The team determined that 50 issues were considered to be violations of the National Fire Protection Association Standard on Live Fire Training Evolutions (NFPA 1403) and other related factors that contributed to this tragic event.

On 2/9/2020 a firefighter “was killed in a gas explosion in the basement of an apartment building in the area of Lienen (district of Steinfurt) Germany. The explosion had trapped the firefighter under the rubble. Another firefighter was rescued from the explosion/collapse and was hospitalized with serious injuries. Three other firefighters were also injured. Firefighters initially responded to the smell of gas. The explosion occurred while they were looking for the origin of the leak and smell. The building had partially collapsed due to the explosion.”

On 2/9/2009 the 40-story, nearly completed 520-foot skyscraper, Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Beijing (China’s) Television Cultural Centre (TVCC) building burned from the bottom to the top in an intense fire that started from ground-based fireworks display went afoul of illegal fireworks operations inside of the building during the Lunar New Year celebration around 8:00 p.m. “The fire started around the tower’s top and proceeded downward around the tower’s sides while fireworks continued to burst dramatically above the blaze.” “The Mandarin tower is notable for the magnitude of the fire it withstood.”

On 2/9/1984 a Bellmore, Long Island, New York fire in a 70-year-old frame 2-½-story home originated in the living room on the ground floor from a portable kerosene heater placed too close to combustible materials killed seven family members at approximately 1:20 a.m.

On 2/9/1951 the eight-story granite State Office Building in Lansing, Michigan burned bringing the state government to a virtual standstill.

On 2/9/1942 the ocean liner Normandie while being converted to a troop transport ship (USS Lafayette) burned and sank in New York harbor while workers were welding.

On 2/9/1923 a Cumberland, British Columbia, Canada coal mine explosion killed thirty-three.

On 2/9/1912 the Crandon, Wisconsin Paris Opera House, and Rhodes store were destroyed by a fire.

On 2/9/1902 the depot of the Southern Railway in Fayetteville, Georgia. The contents of freight and thirty bales of cotton were destroyed by a fire in the afternoon.

On 2/9/1902 an early morning fire destroyed the large three-story lodging house at 2700 and 2702 Olive Street, Empire Hotel, in St. Louis, Missouri that killed eleven and injured eight others of the between thirty-five and forty persons in the building.

On 2/9/1892 the Memphis, Tennessee conflagration started at 230 Main Street in the Druz-Berne Hat Company, a 6-story building that collapsed after 45 minutes and extended fire to the Langstaff Hardware and a trunk factory, by midnight the Lanbrman’s hotel and “The Ruby” saloon were destroyed by the fire.

On 2/9/1971 in the vicinity of Los Angeles, California an earthquake killed 16 and heavily damaged buildings, highways, bridges, and facilities.