Category: Fires

Destruction in a ball of Flickering, Fantastic Flames.


For many towns there is a claim to fame. Though these could all be good things, most often they aren’t.
Fire is the chief source of destruction. It finds its way to the poorest and the riches city’s. At times it is the great equalizer for it does not consider anything to be inferior, least of all, itself.
To that end, we can find small town America on fire anywhere, every day. Some are small and only consume a single house, while others take the whole block, district, town or the countryside.

Chicago and San Francisco are the most well known fires here in America but there are dozens of town fires that are just as interesting that we have never heard of before. While that may not be right, it certainly is true.

You tell me. Have you ever lived in a town that didn’t have a fire in it? Have you heard about the great fire that ate a good portion of the town before rain or stringent firemen were able to put it out? I’m sure you have.


Share those memories with me. Great or small, they all deserve to be told.

Carnival Cruise Mental Disasters

Imagine yourself relishing the thought of a wonderful vacation on a cruise ship. All the comforts of home but you don’t have to work for them. Imagine all the food you normally couldn’t afford and wouldn’t know how to make if you did. Now imagine entertainment every night with live shows and movies. There will be new people and new faces everywhere and not an enemy in sight. That is what you think of when you think of a cruise but for those on the Carnival cruise liner Triumph it just wasn’t an average cruise. It was the cruise from hell!

To these passengers, their vacation was anything of a triumph. They dreamed of warm sunny days in the Gulf of Mexico. When they were too hot, there was always air conditioning, a far cry from the normal frigid winters in many areas of the U.S. Then, the unexpected happened to change everything.

On February 10, 2013 a fire broke out in one of the engine rooms. Since it was quickly extinguished and no one was hurt, the 4,200 passengers and crew probably thought there wouldn’t be a whole lot of difference to their cruise experience, especially since there were two engines. Their assumptions soon proved to be wrong as there was shared cabling to the two engines and the fire had put that out of commission. The ship was left crippled with only its emergency backup power. They were adrift.

To reach shore, Triumph had to be towed. For five days these once happy passengers were without air conditioning, hot water and possibly more importantly – working bathrooms. Their trip could only be described as an ordeal.

Source Sited: Chicago Tribune, Tuesday,  October 8, 2013

What Happened Two Years Ago This Week:

It was an ordinary routine. Load the propane tank onto the truck and watch it drive down the road to its designated clients. It was 11 A.M., almost lunch time. The men loaded the tank capable of a capacity of 1,000 gallons of propane onto the truck. Everything was fine until it shifted.

When the tank rolled over, a valve was severed. Realizing their eminent peril, the truck driver gave a shout and yelled that everyone get back. Seconds later, the tank and the truck carrying it exploded. Five workers found themselves burnt. All went to a local hospital and as of later that day one had already returned home. Three others were in good condition. The fifth was in critical condition but would recover.

Firefighters continued to douse the tank and its truck for much to the afternoon. They also found themselves containing a portion of the fire that had spread to a construction trailer and two other buildings on the make. At the time of the explosion, the plant was under a $90 million dollar expansion. Firemen also had to combat brush fires that sprung up every now and then in the nearby woods.

The tank only carried 300 gallons at the time of the explosion. Can you guess what the outcome would have been had it carried the full load of 1,000 gallons? Much worse, that’s for sure.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fire Changes Train Schedule

Fires happen every day. What they don’t do every day is make a train wait or not go at all. Late Wednesday night a 5 alarm fire began in the vacant Aqua Aqua Inc. warehouse building in the 1800 block of 54th Avenue jn the Cicero neigborhood of Chicago.

The origin of the fire continues to be a mystery. What is not a mystery was the lengths it would take to bring its presence to attention.  The war on human endurance began around 6pm and didn’t hold up until around midnight as 120 firefighters from over 30 communities battled the blaze along with constantly freezing hydrants and the slippery ice it created.

The fire itself wasn’t content to take just one building with it as it spread to the Central Steel Fabricators building that packs and ships telecommunications  products. To be doublely sure that it was noticed, the fire gave such intense heat that the nearby Pink Line of the CTA train west of Pulaski found its service disrupted.

There is now talk of domolishing these buildings as the fear of hot spots springing up enters the minds of firefighters.

Source Cited:
Chicago Tribune Wednesday January 22, 2014 Section 1, Page 12
Chicago Tribune Thursday January 23, 2014 Section 1, Page 11

This time of year we envision hazards coming from traveling on icy roads. What we don’t think of is the danger of what happens once we get inside. For workers at the International Nutrition Plant in Omaha, Nebraska they discovered being in jeopardy was not being outside but inside the building. Monday morning found 38 workers scurrying about their jobs.

Kendrick Houston, a forklift operator and Nate Lewis, a production line worker gave readers of the Omaha World-Herald a good picture of that day’s surprise visit of an explosion and its ensuing fire. The first sign of a problem was when the floor began to tremble. With this odd sensation came a loud crackling sound and then the lights went out. There was a spark and then a ball of flames as the building caved in from 3rd floor down.

Intense heat and smoke hampered rescue as 50 Omaha firemen attempted to do their duty. They were able to rescue 5 people and as of Tuesday, January 21, 2014 there are two dead (1 body recovered,) as well as 10 workers injured (4 in critical condition.) At present everyone is accounted for but it remains uncertain at this time whether there were any visitors to the animal feed plant at the time of the explosion. If there were, those people have yet to be discovered. Part of the plant was flattened by the incident, which is being called an industrial accident. Investigators say it may take weeks before the answers of why the explosion and fire happened become clear.

Source Used:
Chicago Tribune Tuesday 1-21-2014 Section 1, Page 10

The History of Small Town Fires

Most small town have a claim to fame. Sometimes there are good, but most often they are not.

Fire seems to be the chief source of destruction. It is the great equalizer for it believes that nothing is unequal. Rich or poor the towns fall.

Fires can be big or little. They can cover a single building, a block, a district, a town or the countryside before either the rain or the fire department is able to put it out.

We’ve all heard of Chicago and San Francisco’s fires. But what of small town USA? Many towns have a fire in their history. Some are told of others aren’t.

If you’ve ever lived in a town that had a fire once upon a time, here’s the place to share those memories or those wondering. Perhaps someone out there knows about your town and can tell you things you never knew.

Join me here. This is a place of learning.

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