5/3/1885 two Chicago, IL firefighters, both of Truck 1, died “while fighting a commercial fire at 163 South Water Street. The fire was discovered shortly after 11:00 p.m. Flames were already breaking through the roof and fourth floor windows of the four-story building when firefighters arrived. They were among the firefighters positioned inside the building on the third floor with hose lines aimed at the flames above them on the fourth floor. The structure, however, was weakened by the flames and the weight of the water, and the fourth floor collapsed onto the firefighters working on the third floor. Nine firefighters were injured in the collapse, and two firefighters were crushed by burning crates and barrels. Fifty firefighters quickly climbed to the third-floor in an attempt to rescue them, but both firefighters were dead when their bodies were recovered.”
5/3/1905 a Memphis, TN firefighter “died as a result of critical head injuries and burns sustained April 20th, when he and two other firefighters were caught in the collapse of a temporary floor at a warehouse fire.”
5/3/1906 a Meriden, CT firefighter died from the effects of smoke inhalation.
5/3/1911 a Fort Scott, Kansas firefighter “was crushed under a falling brick wall at a two-story brick Power House, he died at the Mercy Hospital. Two other firefighters, who were with him, were injured.”
5/3/1943 a Minneapolis, MN firefighter “collapsed and died at the scene of a dwelling fire at 3412 31st Avenue South. He had been working in the smoke-filled building; his death probably resulted from heart failure aggravated by smoke inhalation.”
5/3/1963 a California Forestry firefighter “died after coming in contact with a live powerline during wildfire suppression in the Mt. Bullion-Madera Mariposa Ranger unit.”
5/3/1986 a Philadelphia, PA firefighter “died in an explosion at Engine 34 quarters, at 28th and Thompson Streets, apparently caused by a malfunctioning gas boiler that was in use during the prior week’s cold snap. He was one of four Engine 27 members temporarily deployed to the Thompson Street station to replace firefighters there who were battling a four-alarm blaze at a Southwest Philadelphia warehouse. The other Engine 27 men were injured, one critically.”
5/3/1999 a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania firefighter died from injuries he received at a fire. He and his company were fighting a structural fire in a residential occupancy. “During the fire fight, he fell through a floor but appeared to be uninjured. After his company had been released and was back at quarters, everyone returned to bed. A short time later, his company was dispatched to another call. Other firefighters found him down and without vital signs. Despite immediate CPR and ALS arrival within four minutes, he died. His autopsy revealed that he had a massive hemorrhage within his back muscles which damaged his spinal cord. The hemorrhage was caused by the fall.”
5/3/2002 two Saint Louis, MO firefighters died while fighting a fire in a 2-story commercial building. “First-arriving firefighters found light smoke showing and a fire on the first floor. While other firefighters opened-up the building, engine company firefighters advanced a hoseline into the first-floor area and knocked down the fire. As the ceiling on the first floor was pulled, fire was noted in the space between the first and second floors. Fire extension into the second-floor was suspected. The handline was removed from the first-floor and advanced to the second-floor. An engine company captain became separated from his crew at the rear of the first floor of the building. He opened a roll-up door for egress. The fresh air supplied by the open door allowed the remaining fire on the first floor to progress rapidly. A metal security gate at the base of the roll-up door prevented his escape. However, the captain was able to escape when firefighters and civilians at the rear of the structure moved the gate to permit his exit. While he was trapped, the captain made a number of requests for assistance on the radio. At the same time, firefighters from the rescue company were opening up the second-floor. An engine company firefighter came upon a firefighter as they worked on the second-floor; he appeared to be lost and conditions in the area were worsening. The firefighter attempted to lead him to the exit but almost became disoriented himself. As he worked his way to the exit, he came upon the disoriented firefighter lying face down and unresponsive. The firefighter was unable to move him and, running out of air himself, he was forced to leave the structure. As soon as he exited the building, the firefighter notified a chief officer that a firefighter was down. A search party was organized, including the other firefighter who would die. The search party entered the building and located the missing firefighter. He was removed from the building and provided with emergency medical aid. The captain of the rescue company did another head count and realized that a second firefighter was now missing. A second search party entered the building and was aided in the discovery of the missing firefighter by the sound of his PASS device. He was removed from the structure and emergency medical care was provided. The first firefighter was missing for approximately 20 minutes and the second firefighter was missing for approximately 29 minutes. The second firefighter was pronounced dead upon his arrival at the hospital. The first firefighter died the next day. Both firefighters were promoted to Captain posthumously.”
5/3/1961 a fireworks factory fire killed thirty-eight, in Caracas, Venezuela.
5/3/1908 the Aveline Hotel fire in Ft. Wayne, IN left eleven dead and twenty injured that started near the elevator shaft on the first floor from defective wiring around 3:10 a.m. “Within five minutes, however, the interior of the structure was a seething furnace, and many of the guests were caught in their rooms before they had time to get into the hallways and make their way to the fire escapes.”
5/3/1907 the Arlington Hotel at Marietta and Cone Streets in Atlanta, GA was damaged by mysterious fire that injured one around 1:00 a.m. “After the flames had been extinguished and the fire department had been gone for an hour and a half, the fire broke out in a new place in the hotel and the department was called again. Two weeks ago there were two similar fires in the same hotel, and these facts have aroused considerable suspicion.”
5/3/1907 Chehalis, WA a fire that fire started in the upper portion of the Idaho Restaurant claimed two children lives, the victims were found hiding under a bed, and extends to other buildings. Two other children, also hiding under a bed, were rescued from a front sleeping room.
5/3/1904 several buildings at Drew College, one of the pioneer education institutions for woman in the country, in Carmel, NY burn to the ground.
5/3/1901 one-hundred-forty-eight city blocks laid waste in Jacksonville, Florida by fire. “Thousands of persons are on the streets tonight homeless with practically all of their worldly possessions upon their backs. The depot of the railroads, situated in the southeastern section, have been turned into temporary lodging houses and hospitals. Luckily the weather is fine so that there will be no suffering on that score.”
5/3/1898 Portsmouth, NH Pickering Block was destroyed by fire shortly after 1:00 a.m. “The hook and ladder truck was the first to arrive on the scene followed soon after by the rest of the apparatus. The chemical (engine) took up a position at the Market Street entrance and two lines of hose were dragged up the stairway. By this time the smoke had become very dense and drove the firefighters from the upper landing.”
5/3/1884 forest fires in Arnot, PA destroyed 17 homes.
5/3/1851 most of San Francisco was destroyed by a fire; thirty died.
5/3/1845 a fire killed 1,600 in popular theater in Canton, China.
5/3/1962 two commuter trains and a freight train collided near Tokyo, Japan, killing more than 160.