9/12/1903 a Nashville, TN firefighter died at a wholesale grocery warehouse heavily involved in a fire, with extension to a stove and tinware store next door. “For close to two hours, firefighters poured thousands of gallons of water on the two burning buildings and finally brought the blaze under control. During the overhaul stage, the firefighter and his crew were ordered to stretch a line to the top floor of the grocery concern, via a ladder, and extinguish any pockets of remaining fire. As the men worked, they heard the cries of other firefighters that the walls of the stove store were bulging. Suddenly, the entire front wall of the stove company fell away from the building. With that went the walls of the grocery concern and a third store. The firefighter and three other men, including the fire chief, were immediately buried under tons of rubble. The fire chief was the first to be found, and although seriously injured, his life was spared when several beams fell over him, creating a void. The firefighter was then found and the other two men shortly after. He was critically injured, having sustained a fractured spine and severe internal injuries, and died later in the day.”
9/12/1922 a Baltimore, MD firefighter died while operating at a fire that “found heavy smoke pushing from every window of a four-story umbrella factory. Before the building could be vented, the smoke turned to fire, which engulfed the entire building. The members of Engine 7 had stretched a line to the roof were waiting for the fire to be vented when an explosion occurred. As the firefighters ran for their lives, one stepped unknowingly into an airshaft and fell to his death on the ground below. A total of twenty-one firefighters were treated for burns on their faces and hands, suffered while fighting the stubborn five-alarm fire, which consumed millions of yards of satin and silk goods.”
9/12/1935 a Los Angeles, CA firefighter was severely burned on September 7th, after “the Superintendent of the Mission Painted Fabrics Company discovered a fire in the plant located at 2481 E. 4th Street. He notified the fire department and Engine Companies 2, 5, and 24, with Truck Companies 17 and 24; also Salvage 24 answered the alarm. The building contained many volatile liquids used in waterproofing fabrics. Especially one dipping tank through which the fabrics were run to process them; this was an open (atmospheric) tank. Upon the arrival of the fire companies, Engine 2, who was the first on the scene proceeded to lay lines into the building. The front openings proved to be accessible, and two firefighters entered at a point in front of the waterproofing tank. The fire had spread so rapidly that it was necessary to enter at other points of the structure and Engine 2 entered with another line in the opposite opening at the front of the building. Almost simultaneously Engine Companies No. 5 and 24 had lines entering the building at the side and rear entrances. The fire was by this time covering the entire structure. It was quickly overcome and apparently, no danger existed, the blaze having been extinguished. The pre-heated condition of the volatile liquids contained in the waterproofing tank caused a boil-over and re-igniting itself on the floor entrapped the two firefighters who were immediately enveloped in flames. Efforts were made to extinguish the flames enveloping the two men and accomplishment was made to a certain degree, but not in time to avert the deaths of the two members involved. The first firefighter died the day of the fire. The second firefighter would succumb to his injuries on the 12th of September.”
9/12/1982 a Spokane, WA firefighter assigned to Snorkel 1 the night of the Tri-State fire died at a four-alarm fire. He had gone to the roof with the snorkel’s crew to “open” the roof. When they had opened the skylight, they found a large volume of fire below them. Three firefighters turned and headed back to their ladder when the roof collapsed. Two firefighters made it back to the wall where they hung for a moment before falling into the fire. At the same time, one firefighter had fallen into the midst of the fire and was buried beneath some debris. Through a superhuman effort on their part and that of other firefighters on the scene, the two firefighters were able to escape through a window in the wall. Meanwhile, a crew tried to advance into the fire to find the trapped firefighter. The fire was too large, and his body was hidden from view. He was found a few hours later. Eight other firefighters were injured that night.
9/12/2019 eleven people, “many of them elderly patients, died in a fire that tore through Badim Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The fire was likely started by an electrical short-circuit in one of the facility’s emergency power generators. In the wake of the fire, Rio’s mayor told reporters that the hospital had been in compliance with local codes and standards. NFPA’s representative to Brazil expressed doubts over whether the hospital was truly in compliance with local codes—despite what government records show. Furthermore, there appeared to be a lack of training among hospital staff on how to react to an emergency. Government records show Badim Hospital had a certificate of approval issued by the local fire department signifying it complied with local codes and standards. That only means the facility was compliant at a single point in time. Regularly in Brazil, the continued inspection of properties and enforcement of codes is overlooked.”
9/12/2017 a fire destroyed a Tampa, FL elementary school in a neighborhood that had just had power restored after Hurricane Irma. The fire at Lee Elementary Magnet School of World Studies and Technology was first reported around 6:45 p.m.
9/12/2014 Morgan Sindall’s nearly-finished £16m chemistry lab project in Nottingham U.K. was destroyed after a fire engulfed the building; sixty firefighters and 10 engines battled to bring the fierce blaze under control, but they were unable to save the timber building.
9/12/2013 a six-alarm fire in Seaside, NJ on the boardwalk destroyed twenty buildings. The fire began in the early afternoon in Kohr’s Ice Cream on the Seaside Boardwalk and quickly spread to other businesses along the way, driven by strong gusting winds as flames spread underneath the boardwalk and embers jumped to neighboring buildings. The fire was declared contained around 9:00 p.m.
9/12/2012 a factory fire in Pakistani killed more than 300. The fire ravaged a textile factory complex in the commercial hub of Karachi, killing almost 300 workers trapped behind locked doors and raising questions about the woeful lack of regulation in a vital sector of Pakistan’s faltering economy; it was Pakistan’s worst industrial accident, officials said, and it came just hours after another fire, at a shoe factory in the eastern city of Lahore, had killed at least twenty-five.
9/12/1940 the Hercules Powder Company plant explosion killed fifty-two, when over 297,000 pounds of gunpowder blew up in a series of explosions and fires, leveling over twenty buildings in Kenvil, NJ. The High Explosives plant had increased production to meet the needs of the U.S. Armed Forces as well as the Allies involved in the war in Europe.
9/12/1876 a fire destroyed the Georgetown, KY Courthouse and eight businesses on the square.
9/12/2008 the Metrolink commuter train crashed head-on into a Union Pacific freight train in Los Angeles left twenty-five dead. “It is thought that the Metrolink train may have run through a red signal while the conductor was busy text messaging.”