7/21/1887 a Buffalo, NY firefighter died while fighting a fire at Box 232, Main and Goodell for the Ziegele Brewery at Washington and Virginia. “Engine 6 responded on the multiple Alarm as the blaze grew quickly. Firefighters bravely battled the flames as they threatened many nearby buildings. While advancing a hose line up a ladder to use on the second floor, a piece of the cornice of the building fell to the ground striking two firefighters sweeping them off the ladder to the ground. One firefighter suffered from burns and internal injuries and was transported to the General Hospital. His condition worsened, and he was pronounced deceased around 7 o’clock.”
7/21/1920 two Philadelphia, PA firefighters “were killed while operating at a three-alarm fire at the five-story Fritz & LaRue Carpet Company at 1615 Chestnut St. A half-dozen other firefighters were also injured. Ironically, one of the firefighters had escaped injury at a fire a year earlier, when he slid down a ladder to safety as the building began to collapse. Six firefighters were killed in that collapse.”
7/21/1944 a Los Angeles, CA firefighter “died of the effects of severe exposure to ammonia fumes, heat, and smoke. His Company was first due at an 11:23 p.m., March 28, 1944, telephone alarm to a large market owned by George Schaeffer at 6700 West Boulevard. He and members of his company laid 450 feet of hose while attacking the stubborn fire with greater alarm companies. The firefighter became ill, went off duty, and died July 21, from complications arising from exposure to the ammonia.”
7/21/1957 a Worcester, MA firefighter “died when a newly installed transformer blew and caused a fire at Worcester State Hospital, causing thermal burns.”
7/21/1981 an Orchard Beach, Anne Arundel County, Maryland firefighter died in a propane explosion.
7/21/1994 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of injuries he sustained on June 5, 1994, while operating at a five-alarm fire. He had collapsed from smoke inhalation in the basement of a TriBeCa warehouse. He had been on life support after being revived with CPR but was pronounced brain dead. After never regaining consciousness, his family decided to remove him from the life-sustaining equipment. An arson suspect was captured and charged with the murder in the death of the firefighter. Alberto A. Raposo, 22 was arrested on June 16, 1994, and charged with setting both the June 5th fire that claimed the firefighter’s life, and another fire on May 30, 1994. Alberto Reposo, the arsonist that caused the death, was sentenced to 43 years for his acts on June 5, 1994, at 70 Worth Street, NYC.”
7/21/2007 two Contra Costa County, Pleasant Hill, California died at a structural fire. “At 0143hrs, Engine 70 was dispatched to a residential fire alarm. As additional information was received, the incident was upgraded to a structural fire response with the addition of 2 engines, a quint, and a command officer. Engine 70 arrived on the scene at 1:50 a.m. and reported heavy fire and smoke from a small single-family residence. Firefighters reported that they had confirmed reports that two occupants of the home were still inside. The two firefighters advanced an attack line into the structure and flowed water on the fire. They reported that the fire had been knocked down and requested ventilation at 1:55 a.m. The two firefighters exited the structure temporarily to retrieve a TIC. They re-entered the structure and went to the left toward the bedrooms with an attack line while another crew went to the right without an attack line. A firefighter from Engine 70 placed a positive pressure ventilation fan at the front door. One of the civilian fire victims was located by the crew that had gone to the right, her removal was difficult, and firefighters had to exit the building to ask for help. During this time, the fire inside of the house rapidly advanced. Firefighters had difficulty venting the roof due to the presence of multiple roofs, built-up roofing materials, and the type of construction. A command officer arrived on the scene at approximately 2:02 a.m. The command officer tried to contact the Engine 70 crew by radio but was unsuccessful. A second alarm was requested, and a report of a missing firefighter was transmitted at approximately 2:05 a.m. The fire had advanced within the structure and had to be controlled before firefighters could search for the missing crew. The two firefighters were located and removed from the structure between 2:12 and 2:26 a.m. The firefighters were found in a bedroom. It has been suggested that the deceased firefighters left the handline that they advanced into the structure to search. When fire conditions changed rapidly, they were trapped in the bedroom. The cause of death for both firefighters was listed as thermal burns and smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire was careless disposal of smoking materials.”
7/21/2008 a Maplewood, MO firefighter was shot and killed while responding to a car fire at 5:40 a.m. “Maplewood firefighters were dispatched to a report of a vehicle fire. The units arrived and reported a vehicle fire and said that they were using a booster line. At 5:46 a.m. firefighters reported that they were taking gunfire. Moments later, firefighters advised that they had a firefighter and a police officer down and were still taking gunfire. The firefighter suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was out of reach of the other firefighters on the scene. A gunman had set the vehicle fire to draw responders into the scene. The gunman was barricaded in a single-family residence. In addition to the firefighter’s death, two police officers were injured. The gunman also died in the incident.”
7/21/2005 al-Qaida terrorists attack the London transit system at rush hour by planting bombs on three subways and one bus; none of the bombs detonate completely. “The attempted attack came exactly two weeks after terrorists killed fifty-six people, including themselves, and wounded 700 others in the largest attack on Great Britain since World War II.”
7/21/1998 a fire on a fully occupied (more than 3,400 people on board) cruise ship set sail from the Port of Miami. The fire started shortly after leaving the port around 5:30 p.m. Workers were repairing a broken mount on some laundry equipment, accidentally ignited dust in the exhaust duct led to the mooring deck in the stern of the ship, and ignited combustible materials. The ship was towed back to the port after losing propulsion. Sixty passengers and crew were injured in the incident, most suffering smoke inhalation.
7/21/1913 a fire at a convict farm near Jackson, MS killed thirty-five prisoners on the second floor of an antiquated convict cage after flames rapidly ate away the only stairway leading to the second floor.
7/21/1905 USS Bennington, a gunboat, boiler explosion killed sixty near San Diego, CA.
7/21/1923 the Salamanca, NY business district fire started from a bonfire in the rear of an abandoned skating rink. “The west side of Main Street from the river to Broad Street was swept clear of standing structures except for one garage, which was badly damaged but did not collapse. On the east side of Main Street, half a block of business structures was burned over, and the flames ate their way into the residential section on Clinton Street, which joins the business district near the scene of the fire’s inception.”
7/21/1896 the Terre Haute, IN Opera House, was destroyed by fire.
7/21/1894 the Birmingham, AL business district fire started at 1:00 a.m. in a furniture store on the corner of First Avenue and Twenty-Second Street and “consumed the celebrated Caldwell Hotel, the finest structure of the kind in the south.” The fire spread to several adjoining buildings.
7/21/1892 a school was struck by lightning filled with fifty pupils and two teachers that started a fire and killed five people in Brickhead Village, GA.
7/21/1890 a gunpowder explosion injured five; while a crowd of men lounged at a Red Key, IN grocery store in the afternoon. One man set off a firecracker. “A spark flew into a keg of powder, and a terrific explosion ensued. A moment later the roof of the frame building fell in…”