On 5/13/1985 the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania police aerial bombed Osage Avenue and MOVE, a radical cult group, that had assembled a large arsenal, left eleven people dead and 61 homes burned down. “At the MOVE headquarters, 6221 Osage Avenue, MOVE began assembling a cache of weapons and building bunkers in their row house; members set up several loudspeakers and began shouting profanities at their neighbors. Everything came to a head when the Mayor ordered police to raid the MOVE headquarters. Authorities soon realized that there was very little they could do to remove MOVE members from their entrenched position. At about 5:30 p.m. on May 13, a small bomb was dropped on the roof of the building in an attempt to destroy their bunker. This proved disastrous, as the roof was covered with tar and gas, and a blistering fire broke out.” “By the time the fire had been contained, nearly an entire block of homes in Philadelphia had burned down.”
On 5/13/1997 a Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania board and care facility fire killed ten residents and injured three of the twenty-one residents and one staff member in the building at the time. The fire most likely started on a screened-in porch from smoking materials in the wood-frame two-story plus basement structure at approximately 9:10 p.m. at the Country Manor Personal Care Home. “Six people were trapped in the home on Queen of Peace Road and died. Three were pronounced dead at hospitals a short time later. The 10th victim died about two months later. Police believe the blaze was started by a mentally ill resident who, police say, threw a match on a porch chair. He was deemed mentally incompetent and was never charged.”
On 5/13/1903 a Buffalo, New York firefighter died at “a massive fire at the Diamond Mills and Elevator Company that destroyed the mill, 22 freight cars, and many other houses. Several buildings were damaged by the heat and flying embers. Engine 21, which had been moved to temporary quarters near the waterfront, was the first to arrive at the blaze. As Engine 21 was stretching hose lines to protect exposed homes across the street, a leak in one line caused the firefighter to attempt to repair it. The line suddenly burst and struck him with terrific force in the stomach, and knocked him to the ground, striking his head against the pavement. He was later taken to Emergency Hospital where he lived for a few hours but never regained his senses. His skull was fractured in the fall, along with other internal injuries.”
On 5/13/1908 a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania firefighter died “while operating at a fire in a sash factory after an overhead power line burned through and landed on him. As he tried to run, he inadvertently grabbed a bare part of the wire and became entangled in it. As he twisted his body to free himself, he was electrocuted.”
On 5/13/1913 a Stratford, Ontario, Canada firefighter and two law enforcement officers were killed at a church fire. “The Knox Presbyterian Church on Ontario street was struck by lightning, just after midnight. As firefighters arrived on the scene, they found that fire had completely encircled the steeple, and was fanned by high winds. Having no ladder truck, they fought the fire from hose lines and ground ladders. As the firefighter and the two police officers were moving a ladder, around 1:30, a large section of the steeple crashed down on them, killing all three.”
On 5/13/1925 a Fort Worth, Texas firefighter “died shortly after midnight. He had been fighting a fire at the Ardmore Rooming House on West Weatherford. He was heading into a smoke-filled hallway on the second floor when he collapsed on the steps. He died a few minutes later while en route to the hospital. His death was attributed to smoke inhalation.”
On 5/13/1993 a methane gas explosion in the Secunda coal mine in South Africa killed fifty.
On 5/13/1978 a fire at the Yiba Commercial Center killed thirty-three in Ankara, Turkey.
On 5/13/1972 the trendy nightclub, Playtown Cabaret, in Osaka, Japan fire killed 118 people, and only 48 people survived. Inadvertently, an electrician set off a fire that reached oil-soaked rags in a nearby storage room that quickly spread up the elevator shafts and the outside walls of the building. “The fire exits were hidden by drapes and almost no one in the club found them.”
On 5/13/1910 the Jackman, Maine Armstrong House Hotel fire killed one of the eighteen people who were sleeping in the building.
On 5/13/1907 while under construction the 444’ long 4,500 passenger Steamer City of Cleveland caught fire just before daylight in Detroit, Michigan.
On 5/13/1899 the large six-story Kennard business block was badly damaged by a morning fire in Manchester, NH.