On 7/31/1979 around 3:26 a.m., a fire at the Holiday Inn, Southgate Parkway, Cambridge, Ohio left ten dead from smoke inhalation and eighty-two injured, several seriously. All fatalities were occupants of 2nd-floor guest rooms in the two-story protected noncombustible construction building. The fire originated in a first-floor corridor towards one end of the guest room wings; interior wall finish in the corridors and three open stairways had a combustible vinyl wall covering. High smoke production of the combustible interior finish and the unprotected vertical openings at the stairways contributed to the tragedy. The building was equipped with a manual fire alarm system but there were no other initiating devices; this resulted in a lack of early warning and the inadequate alerting of occupants of the fire. “The arson bureau investigators have concluded that a fire of incendiary origin was set within the first-floor hallway.”
On 7/31/1880 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of injuries sustained July 29th, when he fell from the third floor to the street while operating at a three-alarm fire, Box # 33-282, 446 West Street.”
On 7/31/1913 a Macomb, Illinois firefighter died “while fighting a multi-building industrial fire at the Western Stoneware pottery factory. He and two other firefighters were operating a hose line on the roof of a factory building when they felt the roof structure weaken. His visibility obscured as he moved toward the ladder, he stepped onto a glass skylight and was fatally injured when he fell into the burning building.”
On 7/31/1921 a New York City (FDNY) firefighter “was overcome by smoke while working at a fire at 1158 1st Avenue.”
On 7/31/1924 a Boston, Massachusetts firefighter “died at the Boston City Hospital at 4:30 p.m. after collapsing while operating at a fire at 917-919 Dorchester Avenue., Box 3224 (Dorchester & Crescent Avenues), which was sounded at 1:54 p.m.”
On 7/31/1930 a Detroit, Michigan firefighter “died after slipping and falling from a ladder while operating at a fire.”
On 7/31/1935 a Saugus, Massachusetts firefighter died from injuries he received from “an acetylene explosion and fire in the Public Works Garage on July 29th. Two other firefighters were critically burned but recovered from their injuries.”
On 7/31/1945 a Chicago, Illinois firefighter “died of overexertion in the hospital after a fire on Erie and Sangamon.”
On 7/31/1948 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter died from “fumes in a three-alarm fire, Box # 66-33-387, 3-5 Washington Place, in a sub-cellar of a six-story brick loft building. Twenty-three firefighters were exposed. The firefighter died of smoke inhalation at this fire. Rescue 2 was special-called to help treat injured firefighters, while Rescue 1 was engaged in the job of locating and removing injured firefighters from the sub-cellar.”
On 7/31/1954 two White Plains, New York firefighters “were killed when the roof of the four-story building located at 100 Main Street, collapsed. Their bodies were found in the basement the next morning.”
On 7/31/1973 a Fort Worth, Texas firefighter “died as a result of smoke inhalation after battling a four-alarm fire.”
On 7/31/1980 a San Francisco, California firefighter “died from the injuries he sustained after he was trapped in a building collapse.”
On 7/31/1917 the Park Hotel in Bemidji, Minnesota was partly destroyed by fire; “the frame portion of the building is a total loss and the brick part was badly damaged.”
On 7/31/1907 a fire started around 10:00 p.m. in the laundry of the main building and quickly spread in the “insane asylum” in Marshalsea, Pennsylvania where 589 patients, all more or less violent, were treated and “made frantic by the glare of the flames shining through their barred windows, but the attendants, aided by firefighters and detectives, got them out safely.” One employee was killed by a collapse of the walls.
On 7/31/1899 during the Town of Tupper Lake, New York conflagration “hundreds sought shelter in the only remaining church and at the Opera House.”
On 7/31/1895 the large wood-frame summer resort across Lake Monona, the Tonyawatha Hotel, was destroyed by fire in Madison, Wisconsin. About fifty guests were in the house when the fire was first noticed at about 8:00 p.m. in the family room above the office.
On 7/31/1888 a Blairsville, Pennsylvania flour mill was destroyed by a fire that started between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m.