3/19/1877 a Denver, CO firefighter was killed from the injuries he sustained after being caught by a falling wall.
3/19/1902 a Brooklyn, New York (FDNY) firefighter drowned while operating at a fire aboard a steamer ship. “He was operating on an ice-covered dock on Governors Island in the New York Harbor. The Ship, British Queen, was loading for Holland at the docks in Hoboken, NJ. It is not known how the fire started but it spread to other ships, oil barges & smaller vessels. Some of these ships, a burning mass, broke free and were floating south with the tide in the North River scorching piers along Manhattan’s waterfront. One ship landed on Governors Island and Fire Boat Seth Low responded. The company was operating on a dock that was not finished yet and the men were handling a line of hose on the skeleton frame. He slipped on the iced cover girders into the water and was not noticed missing for several minutes. The strong tides carried him away, he drowned.”
3/19/1913 three Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada firefighters were all killed in a gas explosion.
3/19/1946 a Chicago, IL firefighter died while fighting a basement fire in a residence at 7933 S. Avalon Avenue. He had left the basement and collapsed while he was bringing in another fire hose.
3/19/1955 a Philadelphia, PA firefighter died after collapsing while operating at a fire at 3716 Aspen Street.
3/19/1959 a Brooklyn, NY (FDNY) firefighter “died while operating at a single-alarm fire.”
3/19/1975 a Queens, New York (FDNY) firefighter died while operating at a three-alarm fire.
3/19/1979 a Manhattan, NY (FDNY) firefighter “was operating on the roof of an apartment building when it gave way, he fell into the fiery apartment below. He was pulled from the burning apartment by fellow firefighters but not before receiving burns over 74% of his body.”
3/19/1982 a Petersburg, VA firefighter and a civilian were killed when a flashover and explosion destroyed a three-story frame apartment house with stores on the first floor. Firefighters were just setting up operations when the explosion took place. Over 20 other people were injured in the blast, some seriously.
3/19/1998 an incendiary fire in an occupied bulk retail store in Tempe, Arizona overwhelmed the inadequately designed sprinkler system, that destroyed 96 linear feet of rack and product display with a conventional fuel load around 4:00 p.m. There were no injuries or fatalities from this fire. The 100,000 ft2 one-story reinforced masonry structure (400’ X 250’ and ranged from 24’ to 29’ high) bulk retail store sold general home improvement merchandise. The area of origin was in a 12-foot-high double-row rack that contained lawn furniture, seat cushions, patio umbrellas, and plastic lawn chairs with an additional 3 feet of storage on the top level. Merchandise on the upper levels was on pallets that had been shrink-wrapped around four sides. Much of the material would be classified as expanded and unexpanded Group A plastic. The fire had traveled vertically along both the outside face of the rack and within the longitudinal flue space over the full height of the rack. Firefighters reported zero visibility; smoke had filled the building from floor to ceiling. Sixty-six sprinklers activated over an area of 5,082 ft2, the flame impingement was limited to 1,500 ft2 and spread across a 10-foot aisle. The sprinkler system was designed to provide a water density of 0.495 gpm/ft2 over 2,000 ft2 to protect a Class IV commodity with a maximum storage height of 20’. The maximum number of sprinklers operating simultaneously in the designed was 29 sprinklers.
3/19/1970 A suspicious fire was discovered by merchant police in the middle of the building just after 3:00 a.m. at Climatrol Industries, S. 20th and Oklahoma, Milwaukee, WI, a metal fabricating plant. The building was fully involved and destroyed. The exposed buildings were saved. The fire was brought under controlled in 3 hours.
3/19/1958 New York, NY a factory fire on the 3rd & 4th floor in a textile plant claimed the lives of twenty-four workers and injured fifteen others at the S.T.S. Textile Company & Monarch Underwear Company after an explosion in a fabric treating oven shortly before 4:00 p.m. Panic contributed to the deaths, victims were piled top of each other, evidence of hysteria, the fire was controlled by over 200 firefighters and five-alarms.
3/19/1949 Hampton, NH the 153-year-old 2-½ story wooden Hampton town hall on Beach Road was destroyed by fire.
3/19/1930 the Gulf Refinery in Philadelphia, PA exploded, and fire destroyed over 70,000 gallons of oil.
3/19/1908 Ben Avon, PA a landslide destroyed a gas regulator that results in an explosion and fire that killed two and damaged 8 buildings.
3/19/1900 Chicago, IL a downtown explosion and fire destroyed a block of stores at North Avenue and Larrabee Street.
3/19/1896 Providence, RI the Masonic Building was destroyed by a 4:00 a.m. fire.
3/19/1970 the Maryland State Police completed its first medevac, transporting a patient involved in a motor vehicle collision from Falls Rd at the Beltway, to the University of Maryland’s hospital in Baltimore. In 1970, a total of 197 medical transport flights were made with an 88 percent survival rate. The maiden flight was performed by Cpl. Gary Moore and Trooper First Class Paul Benson, which started our nation’s first airborne medical evacuation program that is still in continuous operation today.
3/19/1896 Insurance groups form a committee that met in New York, NY with the stated purpose of standardizing the new and burgeoning market of fire sprinkler systems and will later become the NFPA. “The NFPA was formed in 1896 by a group of insurance firm representatives with the stated purpose of standardizing the new and burgeoning market of fire sprinkler systems. The scope of the NFPA’s influence grew from sprinklers to include building electrical systems (another new and fast-growing technology), and then all aspects of building design and construction. Its original membership consisted of, and was limited to, insurance underwriting firms. There was little representation from the industries the NFPA sought to regulate. This changed in 1904 to allow other industries and individuals to participate actively in the development of the standards promulgated by the NFPA. The first fire department to be represented in the NFPA was the New York City Fire Department in 1905.”