Almost every American has something that could produce a fire in their home– whether that be a stove, space heater, furnace, oven, toaster, fireplace or anything of that sort. We tend to ignore the fact that there always is a possibility of there being some sort of fire (even if the probability is very slim). Over the course of history, there have been many fires in many different types of buildings caused by people simply not paying attention. Here are a few you may have heard of.
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
Often noted as one of the most infamous fires in American history, this fire was a big motive for the push for better working conditions and changes in building codes in the early 20th century. Ironically enough, before the fire, the factory was praised for its “fireproof” rooms. However, this turned out to be a major falsehood. Lack of sprinkler systems, neglected fire safety features, and locked doors caused this to be one of the deadliest fires in history. Despite the fire, the building was still intact for the most part and was restored. The old factory can still be found today in Manhattan but it now goes by a different name: The Brown Building. The cause of the fire is still unknown today.
Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire
Big fires don’t just happen in big cities. This fire happened right here in the Cincinnati area. In 1977, the popular nightclub in Southgate, Kentucky caught fire due to unknown reasons. Lack of a sprinkler system and fire alarms created a tragic situation. The club was overcrowded, and as people were trying to file out of the building, the power went out. Panic ensued and many people were knocked down and trampled. In recent years, some people have alleged that the fire could’ve been caused by arson, but there isn’t enough evidence to prove it. Unlike the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, this building is no longer intact and after the fire, the building was demolished and was never rebuilt. In fact, the property where the old Supper Club once stood, still remains empty today.
Notre Dame Cathedral Fire
The first fire we talked about happened in 1911 and the second one in 1977. But this fire just happened on April 15th, 2019. The Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire while a construction crew was doing repairs on the exterior of the cathedral. The exact cause of the fire is unknown but what is known is that a mistake by the construction crew is what most likely caused the fire. Despite the damages, the cathedral will be restored. However, it will take a very long time and will likely cost a lot of money. The fire destroyed two-thirds of the roof and the spire on top of the cathedral.
Many fires are preventable whether they happen in a house, building or if it’s a wildfire. It’s important to make sure a cigarette, match, or other lit object is fully extinguished before placing it in the trash. Flammable objects should never be placed on a stovetop even when the stove is off. Nothing should be within three feet of heat sources like space heaters, furnaces and fireplaces. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States, so it’s wise to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Remember, never leave cooking unattended. You should stay in the room or turn the stove off until you return. Smoke and fire alarms save lives because every second counts when there is a fire.