On 9/26/1898 a San Jose, California firefighter died “while manning a hose line with other members of his company on the second floor of the old Vendome Hotel on North First Street, shortly before midnight. The firefighter was caught in a sudden collapse of the rear wall and three upper floors. Scalded and suffocated by steam, his body was not found until the next day, under twenty feet of debris. The general alarm fire in this showplace of the Garden City (San Jose used to be called the Garden City) resulted in a $30,000 loss. The fire caused injuries to several other firefighters, however, firefighters safely evacuated fifty guests. Upon investigating an odor of smoke on the second floor of the Hotel Vendome, the night watchman and a bellboy discovered that a fire had started in a fuse box of the newly installed electric light system and was rapidly spreading throughout the building via the cable chases. The desk clerk turned in the alarm from the manual box, but mistakenly tapped out a “still alarm,” rather than requesting a full assignment. This led to a valuable loss of time in controlling the fire, as the initial response of the fire apparatus proved inadequate to handle the rapidly spreading blaze. As firefighters attempted to make an interior attack on the blaze on the second floor, a loud creaking noise was heard. Suddenly, the rear walls of the rambling, four-story building collapsed, causing the second, third, and fourth floors to collapse into the first. Eight men were trapped under the tons of rubble that piled up in the main dining area. As firefighters immediately went to work rescuing their trapped comrades, some of the injured men were able to dig themselves out. It wasn’t until the next day that rescuers found the firefighter beneath 20 feet of rubble.”
On 9/26/1898 a Binghamton, New York firefighter was killed in the line of duty. “The firefighter was fighting a large barn fire at 21 Warren Street. A hose line was in the building hitting the fire when suddenly a large beam fell, broke, and released a huge pile of wet hay. The weight of the beam and hay broke the firefighter’s neck.”
On 9/26/1909 a Minneapolis, Minnesota firefighter “died from asphyxiation at a fire at 910 20th Avenue North. After rescuing four persons from the fire, he went back into the building to search for more victims, was overcome, and not found by firefighters until the blaze had been put out several hours later.”
On 9/26/1948 a Milwaukee, Wisconsin firefighter died “while operating at the A.O. Smith factory fire. He was severely burned by a caustic substance and died as a result of its effects.”
On 9/26/2007 a Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania firefighter “was fatally injured during a fire and sudden collapse of a detached garage in the small Delaware County borough. Firefighters had aggressively attacked the fire caused when the homeowner was working on a motorcycle and spilled gasoline in the one-story three-car structure. Firefighters had knocked down the bulk of the fire when the garage front wall and doors collapsed outward briefly trapping three firefighters. Around 11:02 p.m. area fire companies were alerted to a report of a fire in a one-story masonry and wood frame detached three-car garage on the 900 block of Coates Street. An exterior attack using 1-¾ inch hose lines was initiated. Shortly after arrival, firefighters knocked down the bulk of the fire when at 1106 hours there was an outward collapse of the front wall and doors of the structure. Several firefighters were operating about eight feet in front of the garage when the wooden truss roof partially collapsed pushing the masonry front wall outward and causing the three garage doors and steel support beams to fall. At least three members were struck and briefly trapped in the debris of the collapsing garage. Other firefighters and police officers on the scene immediately came to the rescue of the trapped members and began to uncover them from the debris. One firefighter was seriously injured when he was hit by a steel crossbeam while another member suffered a serious leg injury. A total of four firefighters and two police officers were injured either from the collapse or during the effort to rescue the firefighters who were trapped. All trapped and injured members were removed from the collapse area within six minutes. The police officers were transported with burns to their hands from helping with the firefighter rescue effort. The firefighter passed away three days later on September 29th.
On 9/26/2007 two Wicklow County, Ireland firefighters lost their lives when the roof of a factory collapsed in Bray after they had entered to check that no one was inside as the blaze took hold.
On 9/26/2017 firefighters battled a massive 6:45 a.m. blaze at a Miami Beach, Florida store. The fire started in the Vemar Market, 1600 block of Washington Avenue that may have started in the attic of the building. The roof collapsed during the fire. Three or four businesses in the same building were destroyed in the fire.
On 9/26/1936 near Bandon, Oregon a forest fire consumes many towns, leaving nine dead, the fire stretched up the Oregon coast and down into California timbered mountain areas; the main fire area was in the Bandon sector; the historic redwood timbers were threatened by the fire.
On 9/26/1915 in Omaha, Nebraska the recently completed Cudahy Packing Company Ice House was destroyed by fire.
On 9/26/1879 the Deadwood, South Dakota conflagration started at the Star Bakery, on Sherman Street around 2:20 a.m.