4/4/1949 the St. Anthony’s Hospital fire killed seventy-four in Effingham, IL the 100-bed ordinary construction health care facility with open corridors, staircases, and vertical shafts, using oilcloth fabrics and combustible soundproof tiles. The fire rapidly spread through the hospital that had no fire alarm or sprinkler system. “Although the cause of the fire was never determined, numerous safety deficiencies at St. Anthony’s Hospital were identified. The combination of the combustible building materials in the open corridors, stairwells, and vertical shafts, along with the lack of fire sprinklers, detectors, and alarms contributed to the large loss of life. In response, the governor ordered the State Fire Marshal to evaluate all state hospitals to identify and mitigate any fire hazards. This led to a nationwide effort by other hospitals throughout the country to improve their fire safety measures to avoid similar disasters. As a direct result of this disaster modern hospitals now incorporate numerous fire safety features to protect patients who cannot be quickly evacuated, including fire barriers, smoke compartments, and stairway enclosures.”
4/4/1848 a Manhattan, New York firefighter “died from injuries sustained when the building collapsed while he was operating at a fire. Two other firefighters were also killed in the collapse.”
4/4/1875 a Buffalo, New York firefighter died while he “was directing his men in fighting a major fire in a commercial block. He was killed when he was caught in a floor collapse. A major controversy ensued after his death and charges of carelessness were leveled against the fire department superintendent for allowing men to enter the building. He was, however, exonerated when members of the department came forward and confirmed that early in the fire, he emphatically ordered that everyone stay out of the building. It was further stated that the victim had arrived on the fireground late and entered the structure without the knowledge of the superintendent.”
4/4/1910 a Bedford, IN firefighter “died while operating at a fire at the W.F. Woods Department Store, in north Bedford. He had picked up a live wire and was killed almost instantly.”
4/4/1911 a Fitchburg, MA firefighter died “while operating at a fire in a four-story brick commercial building, he was killed when he was struck by falling bricks that fell as the result of an explosion.”
4/4/1925 a San Francisco, CA firefighter “died from burned lungs while in the performance of his duties.”
4/4/1947 a Detroit, MI firefighter died after fighting a house fire. “Initially it was thought that the firefighter had become overcome by smoke while fighting a fire in a residence at 9343 E. Vernor. He was revived at the scene but became ill while his company was returning to their quarters. He was transported to Receiving Hospital and passed away about 40 minutes after reaching the hospital. It was later found that he had suffered a heart attack.”
4/4/1956 six FDNY firefighters were killed and thirteen injured when a marquee failed and pulled down parapet wall on 3rd Ave. (Box 4-4- 2904) in the Bronx, NY in a one-story 125′ by 75′, ordinary construction furniture store and artificial flower factory. The fire started in the cellar and spread up the walls, over 150 firefighters responded.
4/4/1971 a Baltimore, MD firefighter “was killed when he fell from the roof of a two-story brick building while operating at a small fire. He fell headfirst and suffered a fractured skull, dying an hour later in the hospital without ever regaining consciousness.”
4/4/2004 a Houston, TX firefighter “was killed taking a hose line inside a nightclub fire in northwest Houston. The interior quickly became fully involved trapping him and severely burning his company officer. The fire had been deliberately set by a bar patron. 7610 Kempwood, in District 5, 2-alarms.”
4/4/2008 two Colerain Township, OH firefighters died while fighting a residential fire. “Their unit was dispatched along with other firefighters to the report of a fire in a residence. Engine 102 was the first fire department unit on the scene and laid a supply line up the extended driveway to the residence. They reported moderate smoke showing and established command at 6:23 a.m. The crew advanced a 150 foot, 1-¾ inch handline to the front door of the structure. The two firefighters entered the structure with a dry handline and called for the line to be charged. Engine 102’s other firefighter entered the interior after checking the deployment of the supply line. At 6:27 a.m. the crew radioed that E102 was making entry into the basement and reported heavy smoke. After a request for water, the handline was charged at approximately 6:29 a.m. At 6:34, a firefighter from Engine 102 told another officer that he could not find his crew. The officer reported this fact to command and mayday operations were initiated. A second alarm was requested, and a rapid intervention crew was deployed. Both firefighters were buried under collapsed structural components and were declared dead at the scene. A large area of the first floor collapsed into the basement.”
4/4/1894 the “Great fire in Shanghai” destroyed over 1,000 buildings.
4/4/1933 the Dirigible Akron crash killed seventy-three in New Jersey