It never seems to get easier when you realize the history of your profession is filled with overwhelming tragedy, punctuated by acts of tremendous heroism and self sacrifice.
PHILADELPHIA — Weakened by the cold, hampered by frozen hydrants, firefighters waded into the inferno that had been a five-story leather factory, hoping to save comrades crushed by crumpled machinery and fallen brick walls. But their lantern-lit rescue quickly gave way to the painful repetition of recovery.
One by one they bore the charred remains of the dead on stretchers: 13 firefighters and one police officer — first responders to the Dec. 21, 1910, blaze at Friedlander Leather Remnant Co. on Bodine Street in North Philadelphia.
A century after the deadliest public-safety-worker disaster in the city’s history, the Fire and Police Departments keep the memories of these dead — and other public servants who paid the ultimate price — alive. LINK
On a cold december day in 1910 Philadelphia lost thirteen firefighters and a police officer at a bad fire, while far away in Chicago they suffered their own unbearable loss:
CHICAGO- Today, we remember the 23 men who gave their lives 100 years ago: Just after 0400 HRS on the morning of Dec. 22, 1910, a fire broke out in the basement of a six-story cold storage warehouse building, specifically Warehouse 7, operated by Nelson Morris & Company. The warehouse was located within the Chicago Union Stockyards, which at the time was one of the largest centers of industry in the world.
The 450-acre site contained thousands of wooden animal pens, barns, haylofts, slaughterhouses, packing plants and warehouses owned and operated by more than 100 meatpacking businesses. On that fateful day, the stockyards became the scene of the worst fire service disaster in Illinois history and the deadliest building collapse involving fire service members until 9/11. LINK
Once again on a cold December day The Chicago Fire Department is grieving the loss and injury of their brothers at Christmas. Words can’t describe this kind of pain. God bless the Chicago Fire Department.