5/5/2019 Arson Awareness Week begins (May 5-11, 2019). The U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System estimates 16,800 intentionally set fires in residential buildings each year in the U. S.; resulting in 280 deaths, 775 injuries and over $593 million in property damage each year. Motivates for arson include curiosity, vandalism, concealing another crime, excitement, revenge and insurance fraud or arson for profit. This year’s National Arson Awareness Week theme is Preventing Arson on Construction Sites. It is important that contractors on job sites be aware of the reality of arson and follow a few simple guidelines to aid in the prevention.
Store solvents, fuels and tools in a locked storage container or remove them from the job site when you are not using them.
Request additional patrols or drive-bys from your local law enforcement.
Remove trash and debris from the job site.
Try not to store excess materials on the job site.
Secure doors and windows on structures when crews are not actively working on the property.
5/5/1903 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter died at “a two-alarm fire at 257 First Avenue and found flames throughout the four-story building. After a couple of rescues were made, firefighters thought everyone was out of the building. Shortly after a man was spotted in a window on the top floor. The firefighter called to other firefighters to get a ladder. He had climbed the ladder, and just as he reached the top he saw the man disappear back into the room. Flames had then exploded out of the top of the window. He tucked his head down and dove through the window. He had returned to the window and was about to climb back out on the ladder when another blast of flame shot through the window. The firefighter fell back into the room. A firefighter of Ladder 3 had climbed up behind him. When second firefighter got to the top of the ladder he went in for missing firefighter. He returned seconds later with first firefighter and carried him down the ladder. He was unconscious and badly burned when he brought him down. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital. He regained consciousness in the hospital and suffer terribly before dying.”
5/5/1941 a Los Angeles, CA firefighter “died of first and second-degree burns, after he had fallen while operating at the Baby Line Furniture Company factory fire, at 62nd Street and St. Andrews Place.”
5/5/1951 a Dallas, TX firefighter died when “a 55-gallon barrel of kerosene, which was ignited by a house fire had exploded, killing him after being hit by the metal drum and knocked twenty-one feet by the impact. He was thirty-three feet from the kerosene drum when it exploded. Both ends of the drum were blown out, but the cylinder hit him about the head and shoulders with terrific force, knocking him into mid-street. A fire truck, eighteen feet behind him was hit by the drum and severely dented. The fire started when two small boys saturated weeds and grass in the back yard with kerosene from the barrel and set the foliage on fire. They tried to beat the flames down with sticks, but the sticks caught fire and ignited refuse around the house.”
5/5/1951 a Brooklyn, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died of smoke inhalation, which occurred while he was operating at a single-alarm fire on May 2, 1951.”
5/5/1955 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter was overcome and died by smoke while operating at a five-alarm fire.
5/5/1979 Shelby, NC a routine fire at a woman’s boutique turn tragic when the building exploded without warning and killed five firefighters, a gas company employee and injured twenty-five others. It is believed the explosion was caused by leaking natural gas.
5/5/2018 a deadly fire in Historic Old Northeast St. Petersburg, Florida was caused by an exploding vape pen. “The fire happened around 9:00 a.m. on the second floor of the two-story home on 19th Avenue NE. Emergency crews said they there were no flames or smoke visible when they arrived, but inside they found heavy smoke and the body of 38-year-old mand that had severe facial injuries, believed to be a result of his vape pen exploding near his face. They think that explosion also caused the fire.”
5/5/1988 near Norco, LA, in the heavily industrialized corridor along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, an explosion and fire rocked a Shell Oil Refinery, that killed one worker, and injured more than forty people, about 2,500 residents were evacuated at about 3:30 a.m.
5/5/1945 five children and a teacher were killed in Lakeview, Oregon by Japanese balloon fire bomb while attempting to drag it out the woods. “The explosive balloon found at Lakeview was a product of one of only a handful of Japanese attacks against the continental United States, which were conducted early in the war by Japanese submarines and later by high-altitude balloons carrying explosives or incendiaries.”
5/5/1910 Palos, AL Number 3 Coal Mine explosion and fire killed more than 140.
5/5/1904 Shamokin, PA the Reading Coal Company Mine fire.
5/5/1832 New York City, NY an unexpected six-story building collapse and trapped fifteen at the corner of Cliff and Fulton Streets.
5/5/1902 New Milford, CT conflagration wiped out the entire business portion of the town.
5/5/1901 Lanett, AL large cotton storage warehouses at the Lanett Cotton Mills was damaged by fire.
5/5/1900 Hartsville, TN the courthouse and business district was destroyed by fire.
5/5/1899 the Mapleville Woolen Mills, in the town of Burrillville, RI was destroyed by fire.
5/5/1883 Union City, IN conflagration started at the lumber-yard and planing mills of Peter Kuntz & Company on Columbia Street near the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis Railroad Station, around 6:30 p.m. and by 9:00 p.m. most of the western portion of the city was in ruins.
5/5/1862 Cinco de Mayo during the French-Mexican War, a poorly supplied and outnumbered Mexican army under General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated a French army attempting to capture Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. “Contrary to popular American belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16, the day in 1810 when the 11-year Mexican War of Independence began. Rather, Cinco de Mayo celebrates an event in Mexican history that occurred more than 50 years after Mexicans declared their independence from Spain. And it all boiled down to a conflict over an unpaid debt.”