7/20/1899 a Denver, Colorado firefighter “succumbed to injuries sustained while operating at the Western Chemical Company fire on June 18, 1899, at South Seventh and Bayaud. The fire started just before 6:00 p.m., billowing thick brown smoke from a storeroom. The storeroom contained about 50 carboys of muriatic acid, two of which had already exploded. The Assistant Chief stated, “We went into the room with a hose from the chemical tank of Truck 3 and soon had the fire out”. Five firefighters were taken ill by the muriatic acid fumes. Doctors treated the firefighter who passed with injections of nitroglycerin and whisky as well as oxygen. He died as a result of exposure to the fumes and pneumonia.”
7/20/1908 an Atlanta, Georgia firefighter died “while he was operating a line from a ladder into the second floor during a fire at the Miller-Karwisch Buggy & Wagon Works factory, at the corner of Gilmer and Courtland Streets. He was knocked from his position when backpressure caused the line to suddenly recoil. He did a complete flip in the air, landing on his head and back on the sidewalk below. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died on the operating table as a result of a broken neck, fractured skull, and severe internal injuries.”
7/20/1943 a Council Bluffs, Iowa firefighter “was working at an incident in the Union Pacific rail yard on July 11, 1943, trying to rescue railroad workers from a tank car. During the incident, the railcar caught fire and exploded. He critically burned and died from his injuries on July 20th.”
7/20/1951 a Chicago, IL firefighter “was killed in a dust explosion while operating at a 4-11 alarm fire in a commercial building at 4734 S. Ashland Avenue. The fire started in a shoe store and rapidly spread to other stores in the same building. Firefighters were chopping ventilation holes in the roof of the building when the large dust explosion, “worse than dynamite,” erupted, hurling him and two other firefighters off the roof and into the street. He was killed instantly, and the other two firefighters suffered serious injuries. Twelve other firefighters and more than twenty civilians also suffered minor injuries.”
7/20/1952 a Longview, Texas firefighter “died during a roof collapse at Collier Furniture fire at 327 West Tyler”
7/20/1994 a Brooklyn, New York firefighter died from injuries he received on June 5, when he “collapsed from smoke inhalation and was found unconscious in the basement of a five-story warehouse after a fire that required the response of more than 300 firefighters. He died seven weeks later without regaining consciousness. A suspected arsonist has been arrested and charged with starting the fire. Sixteen other firefighters were injured during the incident.”
7/20/2004 two London, UK firefighters died after “fire crews were called to a serious fire at a shop with flats above in East London. Conditions at the scene were extremely difficult due to the layout of the building, lack of visibility, and intense heat. The two firefighters became trapped inside the building and despite the worsening conditions, were located by their colleagues and carried out. Sadly, they died from their injuries.”
7/20/2013 a Marshfield, MO firefighter died from injuries he received at a working residential structure fire on July 13th. “He and another firefighter were in the basement of the structure attempting to locate the fire. No fire was located in the basement, so they were ordered by the IC to back out of the structure. Moments later, they radioed that they had located the fire in the basement and were making an attack on the fire. Within minutes, fire conditions in the structure changed rapidly and an evacuation of the building was ordered. One firefighter was helped from the building and the other firefighter was missing. Firefighters knocked down the fire from the exterior and the firefighter could be heard and was seen crawling toward the exit. Firefighters pulled him from the building and began medical treatment. He received severe burns while inside of the structure. He was transported to a regional burn facility where he died as a result of his injuries on July 20th.
7/20/1993 a fire damaged a press box at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium.
7/20/1958 a power plant explosion killed twenty-three in Kokin Breg, Yugoslavia.
7/20/1938 an explosion of 450 pounds of dynamite killed ten of eighteen workmen blasting a water tunnel through solid rock 200’ below the surface near the city of Baltimore, MD pumping station.
7/20/1916 in Newhall, IA seventeen business houses in the business district were destroyed by a fire that started from the explosion of a gasoline stove in a store.
7/20/1912 the Vancouver, BC business district was destroyed by fire.
7/20/1977 the 2nd great flood hit Johnstown, Pennsylvania which killed eighty-four. “The flood occurred when an extraordinary amount of rain came down in the Conemaugh Valley in a short period. Nearly 12 inches were measured in 10 hours. The National Weather Service later estimated that this amount of rain in that location should happen less than once every 1,000 years.”
7/20/1968 an amusement ride collapses injuring fourteen at Coney Island, NY.