9/4/1894 the first fog nozzle was patented: a fog nozzle break water flowing through it into tiny droplets, creating more surface area absorbing the heat & creating steam. However, some sources suggest the nozzle was first patent was awarded to Doctor John Oyston in 1863. The A. J. Morse company made a brass 2-½” “fire boat type nozzle and stand” with patent dates of Aug. 2, 1891, July 31, 1894, Sept.4, 1894.
9/4/1878 five Omaha, NE firefighters “died from the injuries they sustained after being caught in a collapse at the Grand Central Hotel fire, at 14th and Farnum Street.” The Grand Central Hotel was built in 1871 to 1873. “It was a magnificent five-story brick structure, 132 X132 feet, square, and cost $300,000. After serving its purpose five years, it went up in flames. At four minutes past seven (p.m.) o’clock men passing down Farnam Street, heard an explosion in the neighborhood of the Grand Central Hotel building. Several stopped and ventured surmises as to the cause, some believing it to be a fire alarm. A moment later fire was seen issuing from various parts of the upper floor, and the cry of “fire” rang out, the bells joining in the chorus. The engines came promptly to the scratch, and sparks and cinders were by this time raining down from the roof. At this moment the scenes in and about the burning building baffled description. Firefighters, hose, and streams of water were indescribably mingled; the first floor was crowded with a vast throng of men, many of them bareheaded and in their shirt sleeves, all talking, shouting and offering advice, above which the hoarse calls of firefight could be heard, creating pandemonium of discord, no pen can describe. At 8 o’clock the fire had penetrated the mansard roof on the east side, and notwithstanding every exertion was made to obtain control of the elements, the building was an hour later an utter wreck. At that hour the entire roof had fallen in, and masses of tin roofing, burning wood, debris of every conceivable nature, etc., fell to the pavement, making the work of saving the surrounding property dangerous in the extreme. The fire had worked west, threatening the destruction of the Herald Building, and Farnam Street presented a picture of destruction and ruin no human hand can trace, with men and women running hither and yon in vain efforts to save portable property…At this point the Council Bluffs department arrived by special train, and horses were pressed into the service to bring their apparatus from the Union Depot. Upon reaching the conflagration the “boys” fell in with a will, bringing to the aid of their muscle, intelligence and a thorough knowledge of the work to be done, which inspired them as also the home force, to renewed efforts and deeds of daring of the most thrilling character. The flames at this time were particularly fierce at the southeast corner of the hotel building, and here half a dozen men were suddenly seen through the blinding smoke at the windows of the third floor. It was thought they were cut off from escape and would certainly meet with a terrible death. But soon the fact became apparent that they were there for a purpose; a ladder was elevated immediately beneath them, a flood of water turned in upon the floor and a mastery of the flames at once obtained. It was feared in this connection that the water supply would run out, but stationary engines at different cisterns in the vicinity kept up the streams and prevented this additional calamity…At daylight on Thursday morning the fire had been extinguished, but not before it had done its work. The hotel was totally destroyed, hardly a fragment of woodwork in the entire building remaining unburned. Those of the firefighters who were not too much exhausted remained to work the engines. The Herald Building remained intact, but none the less uninhabitable, and the adjoining premises were similarly left…In addition to the horrors of the night, accidents were numerous, and in many instances proved fatal in their effects. Mr. A. S. Hartray fell from the fourth floor to the first, and was picked up in a dying condition; Joseph Sheeley was struck by a beam and seriously injured. Shortly after midnight, several members of Engine Company No. 3, were caught in the lower part of the building by a falling wall. Two firefighters escaped, but three remained under the debris. The next morning work was commenced for the recovery of their bodies. A constant stream had been playing upon the spot under which they were buried, and when cool enough a company with pick axes and shovels entered upon it. A blackened trunk of one of the unfortunates was first found, and in close proximity to it another, and the hip bones and pelvis of still another. A crowd witnessed the operation and looked on with horror as these dreadful relics were removed to Jacob’s undertaking rooms. The work was continued, and later another body was unearthed, and identified by the stud and collar button in his shirt to be that of William McNamara, engineer of the Grand Central.”
9/4/1970 a San Francisco, CA firefighter “died while in the process of overhauling a fire.”
9/4/1972 a Saint Paul, MN firefighter “collapsed and died fighting a four-alarm arson fire in old McKinley School, at Carroll & Mackubin. Carbon monoxide poisoning contributed to his death.”
9/4/2010 a Lorraine Green Garden, KS firefighter “died after exposure to an anhydrous ammonia leak at a local grain elevator on the evening of September 3, 2010. He died at his home in the early hours of September 4, 2010, of an apparent heart attack.”
9/4/1887 Royal Theatre fire in Exeter, UK left 187 dead; also called the Theatre Royal, had a capacity for 1,500. On opening of a romantic comedy, Romany Rye, with an audience of 800, a gas flame ignited drapes in the fly section of the stage, as the flames spread through the building panic broke out. Many of the victims were from the upper gallery who could not escape because of poorly designed exits; other victims were suffocated or crushed. Parliament crafted legislation for stringent safety precautions in all British theatres, including the fire proof safety curtain.
9/4/1921 Wentworth, NH two stores and seven homes were destroyed by fire.
9/4/1908 Rawhide, NV conflagration: over 3,000 homeless from the fire that started around 9:00 a.m. in the doctor’s office and drug store building.
9/4/1884 Marathon, NY a large fire destroyed a Hazen business block around 11:00 p.m. on the Syracuse and Binghamton Railroad that started in a three-story wooden structure from a chimney.
9/4/1882 Aurora, IN a downtown block was destroyed by fire that originated on Bridgeway Street in the chair factory.
9/4/1895 Springfield, IL a building under construction at the State Fair collapsed trapping several workers.