Oviedo Fire Department Masyhead

Oviedo Information

Firefighting History in the U.S.

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U.S. Firefighting History

     Do you have a school research paper to develop on the Firefighting History in the United States?  This web page will assist you with this assignment.  The information is a brief snapshot of Firefighting History in the U.S. 

Historic Fires in U.S. History

  • 1676 Jamestown Colony Fire, Virginia.
  • 1776 First Great Fire of New York.
  • 1788 First Great Fire of New Orleans.  856 buildings burned.
  • 1794 Second Great New Orleans Fire.  212 buildings destroyed.
  • 1811  Richmond Theatre Fire, Virginia.  72 perished.
  • 1814 War of 1812 Burning of Washintgon & Capital Building.
  • 1835 Second Great Fire of New York. 
  • 1845 Great Fire of Pittsburgh.  1000 buildings destroyed.
  • 1864 Atlanta Burned during War.
  • 1865 Richmond Virginia Burned by retreating Confederates.
  • 1871 Great Chicago Fire.  Lasted 3 days.  18,000 buildings destroyed.  300 perished.
  • 1871 Peshtigo Wisconsin Fire.  2,500 perished, same day as Great Chicago Fire!
  • 1872 Great Boston Fire.  Destroyed 776 buildings and 20 people perished.
  • 1876  New York Brooklyn Theater Fire.  296 perished.
  • 1881  Great Michigan Fire.  200 perished.
  • 1899  Windsor Hotel Manhattan, NY Fire.  45 perished.
  • 1901 Great Fire of Jacksonville Florida.
  • 1903  Iroquois Theatre Fire Chicago.  600 perished.
  • 1904 Great Baltimore Fire.
  • 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.  25,000 buildings destroyed, 5,000 perished.  400 city blocks.
  • 1908  Ohio Collingwood Elementary School Fire.  173 children and teachers perished.
  • 1908  Rhoads Theater Fire Boyertown, PA.  170 perished.
  • 1911  New York City Triangle Shirtwaist Company Fire.  145 girls perished.
  • 1923  Clevland School Fire, Camden South Carolina.  77 perished.
  • 1930  Ohio Penitentiary, Columbus, Ohio Fire.  322 perished.
  • 1940 Rhythm Night Club Fire, Natchez, Mississippi.  209 perished.
  • 1942  Cocoanut Grove Fire in Boston, MA.  492 perished.
  • 1944  Hartford Connecticut Ringling Brothers Barnum Bailey Circus Fire.  168 perished.  1/3 were children.
  • 1945  Empire State Building, NY Fire from B-25 Airplane Crash.  14 perished.
  • 1946  LaSalle Hotel Fire, Chicago.  61 perished.
  • 1946  Winecoff Hotel Fire, Atlanta, GA.  119 perished.
  • 1947  Texas City disaster.  2 ships explode, 600 perished.
  • 1949  St. Anthony's Hospital Fire, Effingham, IL.  70 perished.
  • 1950  Mercy Hospital Fire, Davenport, Iowa.  41 perished.
  • 1958  Our Lady of the Angels School Fire, Chicago.  95 perished.
  • 1963  Golden Age Nursing Home Fire, Fitchville, Ohio.  63 perished.
  • 1963  Hotel Roosevelt Fire Jacksonville, FL.  22 perished.
  • 1967  Florida State Prison Fire, Jay Florida.  37 perished.
  • 1973  LA Cocktail Lounge Fire, New Orleans Lousiana.  32 perished.
  • 1977  Beverly Hills California Supper Club Fire.  165 perished. 3rd deadliest night club fire in history.
  • 1980  MGM Grand Hotel Fire, Las Vegas, Nevada.  87 perished.
  • 1984  Haunted Castle, Six Flags.  8 perished.
  • 1988  Ford Dealership Fire, Hackensack, NJ.  5 firefighters perished.
  • 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm kills 25 and 3,469 homes destroyed.
  • 1995  Oklahoma City Bombing.  168 perished, 180 injured, 324 buildings damaged.
  • 1999  Worcester Cold Storage Fire.  6 firefighters perished.
  • 2001  September 11th Terrorist Attack on the World Trade Center, NY.  2,995 deaths representing 90 nationalities.  343 NY Firefighters perished, 37 Port Authority Officers perished, 23 NY Police Officers perished, 8 EMS Personnel perished.
  • 2001 September 11th Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon, VA.  189 perished.
  • 2001 September 11th Terrorist Attack, Airplan Crash in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.  Passengers stormed cabin of airplane and crashed prior to reaching destination of White House.
  • 2003  The Station Nightclub, West Warwick, Rhode Island.  96 perished on scene, 4 died later.
  • 2007  Warehouse Fire in Charleston, South Carolina.  9 firefighters perished.
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Firefighting Advancement in the U.S.

  • 1736  Ben Franklin organized the first volunteer fire brigades.
  • 1740  First horse drawn fire pumpers.  Dalmations introduced to calm horses in stable, on way to fire, and while at fire scene.
  • 1800's  First steam fire pumpers.
  • 1900's  First gas powered fire pumpers.
  • 1922  Creation of "Fire Prevention Week", First week of October each year in recognition of fire safety.
  • 1940's - 1960's  Advancement in firefighting equipment, nozzles, fire hose, fire pumps, and other equipment.
  • 1970's  Fire sprinkler systems became a code requirement for commercial buildings.
  • 1980's  Residential smoke detectors required by code.
  • 2000  Fire sprinkler systems developed for residential homes, although not a code requirement.
  • 2009  Carbon monoxide detectors required in all new residential homes.