8/24/1814 Washington D.C. British troops during War of 1812 set fire to many public buildings, including the Whitehouse and Capitol, the next day a hurricane that included a tornado passed through Washington D.C., putting out the fires and forcing the British troops back to their ships.
8/24/1871 a San Francisco, CA firefighter died from injuries he received on September 21, 1871 at the Harpending Block building fire. He was knocked to the ground by falling timbers and a heavy cornice. He was burned over his face and head and received serious injuries to his right arm that required him to have his arm amputated. He was never able to recover from the injuries to his head, of which were the cause of his death.
8/24/1881 an Evansville, IN firefighter “died from the injuries he sustained after being caught in a collapse at the L. Toff & Co.’s Saddlery Store. The fire had spread throughout an entire block.”
8/24/1901 an Oakland, CA firefighter “lost his life while operating at a fire at Chestnut and Thirty-fourth Street after he received severe burns.”
8/24/1940 a San Francisco, CA firefighter died “while operating at the fire with the Fair company, he scaled the burning California building, was struck by a battery line and toppled eighty feet to the ground, succumbing a few hours later at Harbor Emergency Hospital.”
8/24/1967 “members of Los Angeles County Fire Department Crew 4-4 were burned over. Seven juvenile crewmen and a Firefighter Specialist lost their lives. Before the fire was over it burned 19,100 acres. As a result of the loss of juvenile firefighter lives in this fire and the Hacienda Heights Fire, the practice of using juvenile probationers to fight fire was re-evaluated and stopped. The Downhill Indirect Checklist was another result of this fire. On 8/23/68 the “Canyon Inn Fire” started above Glendora, CA.”
8/24/1974 a Durango, CO firefighter and a police officer died at “a fire that broke out on Main Avenue, that would destroy historic buildings in the middle of the 800 block. Soon after responding to the fire, the firefighter and another firefighter were sent the back of Taylor-Raymond Jewelers to evacuate residents of the apartments upstairs. A police officer, who was off duty, returned to help. As the three approached the burning building, it exploded, crushing and killing one firefighter and the police officer. The blast had thrown the other firefighter under a car. The fire took more than 24 hours to completely extinguish. Nine businesses were destroyed, including Gardenswartz Sporting Goods, Thompson Saddle Shop, City Taxi, Taylor-Raymond Jewelers and Chez Louis, a French restaurant. Several others were seriously damaged, including the Kiva Theater. It’s believed that an arsonist had started the fire after becoming angry about being evicted.”
8/24/2009 two Buffalo, NY firefighters died after “Buffalo Fire Department units were dispatched to a report of a structure fire in a convenience store. Firefighters found a working fire on their arrival and civilian reports of people trapped in the building. Both the exterior and the interior of the building were difficult to access due to numerous security measures. Firefighters searched the building and found no occupants. Access to the building’s basement could not be achieved due to fire conditions and a reinforced door. An order to evacuate the building and a switch to defensive firefighting operations was declared by the Incident Commander. At approximately 4:22 a.m. Rescue 1 entered the retail area of the store to verify that all firefighters had evacuated. Less than 2 minutes after their entry, the floor collapsed, and a firefighter fell into the basement. He immediately began to call for help over his portable radio. The other members of his crew were unaware of what had happened and exited the structure. A firefighter assigned to the Firefighter Assist and Search Team (FAST) entered the structure. It is thought that he directly heard the calls for help from the missing firefighter. He also fell into the basement in close proximity to the missing firefighter. Fire conditions worsened, and firefighters were not able to access the interior. The firefighter assigned to the FAST status was not known for some time due to errors in accountability procedures. Firefighters were able to enter the basement and located the deceased firefighters at 9:18 a.m. The cause of death for both firefighters was smoke inhalation. “
8/24/2011 Lincoln, CA around 3:37 a.m. a propane fire atop a train tanker in Lincoln burned for nearly 40 hours of intense flames; about 4,800 homes were evacuated. Fire crews used up to 5,000 gallons of water per minute to keep the tank cool. It is believed that the fire was “sparked after a worker opened a hatch and immediately noticed gas under pressure” at the Northern Propane Energy.
8/24/1936 West Pittston, PA coal mine explosion about 8:30 a.m. in the Pittston vein, about 200 feet below the surface killed five.
8/24/1910 Clark County, WA a forest fire left 800 persons homeless and 2000 timber-men out of work.
8/24/1894 Creede, CO Amethyst Mine fire killed four that started in the dry room between 3 and 4:00 a.m. and extended to the shaft house and all the machinery.
8/24/1894 Franklin, WA a mine fire killed thirty-seven that started in the sixth level of the Oregon Improvement Company’s coal mines at Franklin, around 1:00 p.m.
8/24/0079 the eruption of Mount Vesuvius began destroying Pompeii.