4/25/1854 a fire in the William T. Jennings Building in Manhattan, NY (231 Broadway) claimed the lives of eleven firefighters. While battling the blaze the top floors as well as a large iron safe collapsed into the 2nd floor killing the firefighters. “A fire broke out at the large tailoring establishment of W.T. Jennings & Company, near City Hall. Two firefighters were on the scene, surveying operations from an adjacent roof. Lowering the halyards of the building’s flagpole to the street, they attempted to pull a length of hose up to their position, whence they could advantageously hit the flames. Soon after they started water, the rear wall of Jennings’ collapsed onto a setback, crushing several firefighters operating on the second floor. As others rushed to extricate them, a firefighter directed the stream onto heavy timber rafters that were in danger of igniting. From below, calls were heard that the water was scalding the trapped men and their rescuers, but he decided that it was a risk that needed to be taken, if it meant saving the roof from collapsing on the men below. In the end, eleven firefighters perished, and twenty-four were hurt.”
4/25/1878 three Cobourg, Ontario firefighters died while operating at a 2:00 a.m. fire on Division Street, a 3-story building, the vacant Windsor Hotel that had stores on the street level. “Due to the extreme fire condition, a defensive attack was started, and as the fire grew, the roof and all partitions fell in, leaving the walls unsupported. Sometime later, as crews were directing hose streams, eight men were buried when the front wall collapsed, killing the three firefighters.”
4/25/1905 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter died at “a five-story brick warehouse stocked with furniture, cigars, and dresses, was fully involved in fire on arrival of firefighters, with extension to other buildings. While acting as battalion chief, he was killed when he fell from a ladder while directing operations. Many other firefighters were injured and overcome while operating at the five-alarm blaze.”
4/25/1916 a Chicago, IL firefighter “was fatally injured when he fell on his axe while fighting a fire at 3442 S. Cottage Grove Avenue.”
4/25/1919 a San Francisco, CA “lost his life while operating at an apartment house fire at Arguello and California.”
4/25/1925 a Wichita, Kansas firefighter “lost his life from burns received at the Golden Rule Refinery fire.”
4/25/1926 a Milwaukee, WI firefighter “died from burns suffered from the Marsh Wood Product Co. fire on April 21, 1926.”
4/25/1935 a Salem, OR firefighter died while operating at a major fire, which destroyed the state capitol building, he was killed when he was caught under a collapsing cornice.
4/25/1979 a Los Angeles, CA firefighter was “killed during fire fighting operations at the Mullin Lumberyard, 7151 Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood. The firefighter was operating a ladder pipe from the top of an aerial ladder. The ladder pipe assembly came loose from the aerial ladder and knocked him from his position. He fell about 50 feet to the ground. It was determined that the cause of the fire was arson.”
4/25/1984 two Mena, AR, U.S. Forestry firefighters died while operating at the Rainbow Springs fire. “A fire started in logging slash on the Mena District of the Ouachita National Forest. The area experienced high fire danger on this day, with a number of new starts that all saw unusually high fire behavior for the fuel conditions. The two firefighters were members of the Poteau Tractor Crew. Ground Crews were conducting a burnout operation, when there was a tremendous build-up of the fire. The ground crews disengaged, and approximately 5-10 minutes later the bodies of the two firefighters were discovered; both died of asphyxiation and burns.”
4/25/2011 Richmond, KS a twenty-five-year-old man, six-year-old boy, five-year-old boy and five-month-old girl were killed in a home fire that is believed to have started from an electrical circuit and extension cord that was attached to a space heater.
4/25/1982 an antiques exhibition explosion killed thirty-three in Todi, Italy.
4/25/1961 Pittsville, WI a mother and her two teen-aged daughters in a fire which swept the upper floor of their two-story frame home.
4/25/1911 Elk Garden, WV a coal mine disaster left twenty-three men dead.
4/25/1910 a fire at Hotel Thomas in Cincinnati, OH left three dead.
4/25/1902 the town of Herkimer was almost entirely destroyed by fire.
4/25/1896 the Bennett Ave. in fire Cripple Creek, CO began around 1:00 p.m. when a gasoline stove overturned on the second floor of the Central Dance Hall on Myers Avenue. Eight city blocks lost.
4/25/1892 a fire destroyed the Colby Academy in New London, NH.