On 5/20/1969 the amended Wash-Healey Act allows the adoption of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards by reference. The Walsh-Healey Act of 1936 allowed the Department of Labor to ban contract work done under hazardous conditions. Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the first woman Cabinet member created the Bureau of Labor Standards in 1934 to assure that workplaces would be “as safe as science and law can make them.” The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Manhattan, New York (March 25, 1911) deeply impacted her life. The evolution of workplace safety continued, and President Richard Nixon signed into law on December 29, 1970, the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act, giving the Federal Government the authority to set and enforce health and safety standards for most of the country’s workers.
On 5/20/1980 a fire in Eventide Home for the Aged (a nursing home) in Kingston Jamaica, killed 157 (153) elderly women. “Eventide opened on July 1, 1870; built specifically for women but eventually opened its doors to destitute, crippled, and handicapped old men and children. A fire of unknown origin razed the Myers Ward at the Eventide on Slipe Pen Road, Kingston. The Myers Ward was an old wooden building constructed during the late nineteenth century. Myers Ward was reduced to metal rods, zinc sheets, and ashes. The ward was home to about 211 elderly women; only 58 escaped alive. The seven women who were not found in the rubble after the fire remained missing and were eventually presumed dead. One opinion on the cause of the fire argued that it was the result of political maneuvering during the final months leading up to the most violent general elections in Jamaica’s recent history. There were many reports to the police from persons living at the home that gunmen had entered the premises more than once, claiming they had come to kill the staff and inmates for reasons connected with their alleged political affiliations. Moreover, gunmen besieged the premises of the Home just six months after the fire and injured two persons.”
On 5/20/1894 a Tampa, Florida firefighter died in the line of duty. The Firefighter died after suffering from consumption. He died of consumption aboard the steamship Mascotte at Port Tampa, FL. He was returning from a trip to Key West where he had hoped to recover from injuries sustained while fighting the fire at the Sanchez y Haya cigar factory on November 12, 1890. He and five other volunteer firemen were in the thickest of the fight, and every one of them suffered from lung troubles. A second firefighter also died from the effects of the fire
On 5/20/1940 a Cambridge, Massachusetts firefighter died while operating at a cellar fire.
On 5/20/1967 a Scarborough, Ontario, Canada firefighter died “during fire operations at a basement fire on Lawrence Avenue East.”
On 5/20/1983 a Sunset Whitney Fire Department, California firefighter collapsed “while fighting a structure fire in the neighboring community of Loomis, and died en route to the hospital.”
On 5/20/2013 a Dallas, Texas firefighter died at the Hearthwood Condominium fire. “Dallas firefighters were dispatched to a report of a fire alarm in the Hearthwood Condominiums at 12363 Abrams Road, at 2:51 a.m. The firefighter and his ladder crew were dispatched to the scene as a part of the fourth alarm at 4:05 a.m. The truck company was assigned to evacuate an adjacent building in the complex and then received orders to conduct a primary search of the ground floor of the fire building. Shortly after beginning the primary search, a portion of the structure collapsed. The collapse trapped him, and he radioed that he was trapped. He was recovered from the rubble following an hour-long process to locate and remove him. He died of mechanical compression of the chest causing asphyxia.” “The apartment complex where the incident occurred was built in 1980 and consisted of three separate structures, each comprised of three buildings interconnected by a series of indoor stairwells and outdoor covered walkways, for a total of nine separate apartment buildings. The structure where the incident occurred was in the middle of the complex, specifically in Building 5, which was connected to Buildings 4 and 6. Each apartment building consisted of three floors, with eight separate apartments on each floor. All three buildings were connected by a fully enclosed glass atrium on the south side of Building 5. The atrium was the primary entrance into Building 5, which was also accessible by the walkways between Buildings 4 and 6.”
On 5/20/1965 a plane crashed at Cairo airport killing 124.