4/11/1874 a Baltimore, MD firefighter died after extinguishing a fire in a grocery store, several firefighters entered the basement with lanterns to overhaul. Without warning, a barrel of gasoline suddenly exploded after the fumes came in contact with one of the lanterns. All of the men were badly burned.
4/11/1902 a Chicago, IL firefighter “died while fighting an apartment building fire at 5133 South Cottage Grove Avenue. The Renfost apartment building was built as a luxury hotel for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, and the fire in the seven-story building started in the basement, after a worker left a small hand furnace running when he left the building for lunch. The building’s elevator boy discovered the fire shortly after noon, but the fire spread quickly due to the dry wood building materials inside the building and the forty-mile per- hour wind outside the building. The building was fully involved when the first fire companies arrived on scene, and a 4-11 alarm was raised. The victim was off duty but responded to the alarm. He was operating outside of the building when an outer wall collapsed, and he was crushed to death by falling debris.”
4/11/1944 a Buffalo, NY firefighter, two hotel employees were overcome by carbon monoxide gas and killed, nineteen other firefighters were also overcome during rescue operations at the Statler Hotel Downtown. “Two hotel workers were sent to investigate a strange odor and fumes coming up the coal ash conveyor chute 40′ below ground in the basement area. One became unconscious and the other man fled for help. As firefighters attempted to rescue him, attempts were met with more men being overcome. Finally, a wall in the banquet kitchen was breached, and firefighters using air masks were able to reach the victims.”
4/11/1953 a Times Square (New York, NY) a three-alarm fire started in Hectors Restaurant on 50th Street at Broadway. “The flames extended from the kitchen ventilation system and ignited the huge Majestic Danceland on the second floor. The fire continued spreading to offices on the top two floors. Fifty people were in the restaurant when the fire broke out at 4:30 a.m., all escaped unharmed. The responding firefighters; however, took quite a bit of punishment, with eleven firefighters being treated for smoke inhalation at the scene and five removed to Bellevue Hospital. The smoke was so bad the IRT subway by-passed the 50th Street station until the afternoon.”
4/11/1961 a Newark, NJ firefighter died while “he was operating at a four-alarm fire at the Englehorn’s meat packing plant on Avenue L when a wall collapsed on him. He died from his injuries a short time later.”
4/11/1994 two Memphis, TN firefighters “were killed when they became trapped and overcome by smoke during a fire on the ninth-floor of a high-rise building. Two civilians also died in the arson fire. The first firefighter became disoriented when he was caught in rapidly spreading fire conditions on the fire floor, burning him and causing his SCBA to malfunction. He found his way into a room on the ninth-floor where he was later discovered by other fire crews with his SCBA air depleted. The second firefighter, aware that the first firefighter was unaccounted for after several unsuccessful attempts to contact him by radio, left a safe stairwell where he had been attempting to fix a problem with his own SCBA. Investigators believe he was trying to locate the missing firefighter. He became entangled in fallen cable TV wiring within a few feet of the stairwell; and died of smoke inhalation after depleting his SCBA supply. A Memphis Fire Department investigation found many violations of standard operating procedures by companies on the scene, including crews taking the elevator to the fire floor, problems with the incident command system and coordination of companies, operating a ladder pipe with crews still on the fire floor, and a failure of personnel, including the two victims, to activate their PASS devices.”
4/11/2006 a Franklin Township, NJ firefighter “was performing search and rescue operations when he became trapped in the basement at a residential structure fire. He was rescued approximately 90 minutes afterwards. He was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.”
4/11/2010 a Sackets Harbor, NY firefighter died while working a 20 x 60-foot oxygen limiting silo containing approximately 20 feet of high moisture corn. The fire may have been caused by embers from an earlier barn fire. Upon arrival, firefighters found a silo with bottom and top doors open, light smoke, and burning embers visible inside the bottom of the silo. They formed a plan to close all silo doors and introduce carbon dioxide to smother the fire. He climbed to the top of the silo using a ladder chute attached to the silo. He closed and latched the doors at the top of the silo, reported the completion of his task by radio, and began to climb back down the ladder. An explosion occurred, and he was thrown 20-30 feet to the ground.”
4/11/1996 a fire at terminal of the Düsseldorf Airport killed seventeen, hospitalized sixty-two people and burned for six hours. The fire started in a void space above the ground floor ceiling and spread to many areas on the first, second, and third floors.
4/11/1926 the tanker Gulf of Venezuela explosion killed twenty-five in Port Arthur, Texas; at the time of the explosion the 4,276 ton register tanker that had a capacity of 85,000 barrels, “was being loaded with a full cargo of high test gasoline and only ten minutes more time would have been required to finish the pumping on of the cargo.”
4/11/1921 Iowa imposed the first state cigarette tax