6/4/1911 a Louisville, KY firefighter “was injured at a fire at Beechmont on June 3, 1911, and died on June 4, 1911, as a result of injuries he sustained.”
6/4/1940 a Chicago, IL firefighter died while fighting a fire at the Silverman Jobbing Company building at 1420 South Halsted Street. “Nearly one-third of the department’s apparatus responded to the blaze. He and other firefighters were operating hose lines from the roof of a neighboring one-story building when he was overcome by smoke and fumes from burning celluloid. He was carried from the roof and transported to St. Luke’s Hospital, but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.”
6/4/1945 a Saint Paul, MN firefighter “was crushed by a heavy commercial sized refrigerator that fell on him, pinning him face down in several feet of water killing him instantly when the collapse of the 2nd and 3rd floors happened while overhauling at a four-alarm fire in A. W. Partridge warehouse, 19 E. Kellogg.”
6/4/1955 a Queens, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died from the effects of severe smoke inhalation sustained May 6th, while operating at a three-alarm cellar fire.”
6/4/1965 two Omaha, NE firefighters “died after suffering the effects of smoke inhalation at the Swanson Office building fire, at 8401 Dodge Street.”
6/4/1971 three Waco, Georgia firefighters were killed in a dynamite explosion on Highway 78. Four other people were killed and twenty-seven were injured in the explosion of the truck laden with 20,000 lbs of dynamite, which caught fire after colliding with a car near Waco, Georgia. The blast demolished the truck and the car along with a fire truck and ambulance that were first on the scene.
6/4/1975 a Boston, MA firefighter “died of injuries he received at a fire in a vacant house at 38 Jones Avenue, Box 3535, (Jones Avenue & Mascot Street) on May 11, 1975.”
6/3/1999 at 6:55 p.m. FDNY Ladder 173 and Engine 331 received a phone alarm for a fire at 150-28 127th Street in Howard Beach, Queens, New York. “Upon entering the block, Engine 331 transmitted a 10-75 for a fire in a 20 x 40-foot, one-story private dwelling with a heavy smoke condition coming from the side entrance. The Captain entered the side door with his can man, a probationary firefighter, and a firefighter with the irons. Immediately, they went down to the basement to locate the fire. As they reached the base of the stairs toward the front of the building, they encountered high heat, zero visibility, and a Collyer’s mansion-type condition (hoarding). Undaunted by the intense conditions and employing his years of experience, the Captain led the firefighters through the heat and clutter to try to locate the fire. The inconceivable volume of rubbish, household supplies, and furniture that Ladder 173 and Engine 331 confronted impeded their efforts and made even the smallest progress time-consuming…Engine 331 now had a 1-¾” hand-line down the stairs, and with no visible fire, the basement was crowded and chaotic with little room to work. Crawling over waist-high rubble, freeing themselves of entanglements and moving obstructions, the Captain and Ladder 173’s inside team finally made it to the room that contained the main fire. Following the Captain’s directions, Engine 331 traced Ladder 173’s path to the fire area with the hand-line. Ladder 173, now trying to find access to the main body of fire, found this room encased with shelving and boxes. The only fire Engine 331 was able to hit with their hose stream was the rollover of burning gases at the ceiling level. Amid all the noise and confusion, the Captain’s voice could be heard, calmly directing the operations. After several minutes of searching for access in claustrophobic conditions, the heat in the room started to bank down. At this point, the Captain realized that the initial attack was making no headway and conditions were deteriorating. When several member’s Vibralert® alarms activated, the Captain reluctantly ordered both companies to withdraw from the basement and notified Battalion 39. Fearing for the safety of his men, the Captain called out to his forcible entry team and specifically, probationary firefighter personally to ensure his proby’s safe retreat. Certain that everyone was in front of him and he would be the last man to leave the fire area, the Captain and firefighter started to make their way out. Tragically, the obstructions that had slowed their advance now impeded their withdrawal. The Captain (along with several members of both companies) depleted his SCBA cylinder before he could reach the basement stairs. He was forced to remove his facepiece in a highly contaminated atmosphere. Hot, toxic gases entered his lungs, but the Captain, still composed, kept his position in the rear, ensuring that every member got to the stairs before he did. Realizing the gases were about to bring him to the verge of collapse and he would not be able to extricate himself and the probationary firefighter from the basement, the Captain then uttered his final orders, “Don’t panic. I’m going to transmit a mayday.” Unfortunately, the Captain became disoriented and never had the opportunity to radio that mayday message. The firefighter did not panic. He stayed with the Captain, shared his mask with him, and tried to assist him out. The Captain collapsed, and firefighter tried to remove his officer until relieved by a firefighter from Squad 270, who gave a mayday. The Captain’s final concerns were not for his safety, but his fellow firefighters. While directing the withdrawal of his men, he performed in the finest traditions of the New York City Fire Department. Due to his selfless commitment to the safety of his troops and the people of New York City, he was honor posthumously.”
6/4/1979 North Hungarian Chemical Works fire killed thirteen in Sajobabony, Hungary.
6/4/1942 Stockton, CA an explosion and fire at Army Plant killed eleven and injured nine.
6/4/1912 a Waukesha, WI Hotel was destroyed by fire.
6/4/1905 a fire started from an electric light wire in the Exposition Building, Milwaukee, WI; 1500 people safely escape. “The interior had been decorated with thousands of yards of flimsy drapery and in a twinkling, the flames spread throughout the interior.”
6/4/1904 ten people were killed and six injured in fire after an explosion occurred in the eleven-story Corning Distillery whiskey warehouse in Peoria, IL. The building and stock were destroyed.
6/4/1900 the Foxboro, MA Town Hall was destroyed by a fire that started a little before 5:00 a.m. in the attic of the town hall, one person was killed, and one was injured.
6/4/1894 five downtown blocks that included thirty-five homes of Ottumwa, IA were destroyed by fire, which left two dead.
6/4/1888 the three-story brick Mundine Hotel fire left two dead that started around 4:00 a.m. in Rockdale, TX
6/4/1892 Oil City and Titusville PA were destroyed by oil tank explosion and fire; 130 died.
6/4/1873 the town of River Point, RI conflagration.
6/4/1850 Empire Engine Company No 1 was organized in San Francisco, CA on the south side of Sacramento Street between Kearney and California Streets.