Author Topic: 1976--ST LOUIS MISSOURI FIRESTORM 21ST AND LOCUST  (Read 2504 times)

Diablo Fire

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1976--ST LOUIS MISSOURI FIRESTORM 21ST AND LOCUST
« on: February 21, 2011, 07:54:13 am »
Besides being a fire buff I am also a history buff and one of my passions are the old fires, the one that men and machine fought odds that were a million to one against them.

One of the ones that stick out in my mind is the 1976 St Louis Firestorm that occurred on 2-April-1976. Before it was all said and done the fire destroyed six buildings, damaged numerous others, and at one time every piece of equipment for the City of St Louis Fire Department was involved in fighting this fire or putting out numerous others fires that were started by flying embers. The fire burned out of control for three hours and could have taken more of the City than what it did.

On the day of the fire the first arriving engine company and battalion chief found a fire in the basement, but within minutes the building was going from the basement through the roof. The interesting thing about the building that the fire had started in was a abandoned seven story factory, Hayday Shoe Company, and the building had been the scene of another fire five years before this fire and yet had been dealt with. The building also had no power or gas service, and it was reported that one of the building that survived the fire had a working sprinkler system and firefighters reported that the building was saved with the help of the sprinkler system.

At one point and time the City of St Louis fire Department Fire Chief considered using dynamite to create a fire break but thank god there was a natural fire break that included a parking lot and a solid wall building.

The following is a quote from the St. Louis Post Dispatch which ran a couple of articles about the fire in the past couple of years:

"The next morning, as pumpers poured water onto smoldering ruins, acting deputy fire chief Lou Stauss said, "People don't realize it, but we almost lost the city of St. Louis.""

http://lakeexpo.com/articles/2010/04/05/top_news/14.txt

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/article_e2335e6c-91d7-5e84-b24e-29e8d3406e49.html







Dave

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Diablo Fire

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Re: 1976--ST LOUIS MISSOURI FIRESTORM 21ST AND LOCUST
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 07:58:19 am »






Dave

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Diablo Fire

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Re: 1976--ST LOUIS MISSOURI FIRESTORM 21ST AND LOCUST
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2011, 08:04:49 am »






Dave

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Diablo Fire

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Re: 1976--ST LOUIS MISSOURI FIRESTORM 21ST AND LOCUST
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2011, 08:07:16 am »






Dave

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Diablo Fire

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Re: 1976--ST LOUIS MISSOURI FIRESTORM 21ST AND LOCUST
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2011, 08:09:12 am »






Dave

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Re: 1976--ST LOUIS MISSOURI FIRESTORM 21ST AND LOCUST
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 08:11:51 am »
These are the last of my collection. The next couple of posts are from others collections and I will give them credit for the posts.










The buildings in this area were all constructed around the turn of the century and were all at least 76 years old and constructed of heavy timber and brick. Engine Co 5 was the second rig to attempt to hook up to a building Stand Pipe and was able to. Of course it did not do much good when the building collapsed on it.

I remember this fire very much and my dad came home talking about. He worked for the MoPac, and for those of you into trains you know them, him and I talked about that fire and even down and got as close as the City of St Louis Police Department would allow us.

During the height of the fire almost every City of St Louis Fire Department rig was either involved in fighting the fire or handling hot spots in the surrounding areas. Six department from the County sent rigs and manpower to cover City Stations and more were standing by.

If you would like to read the article from Fire Command Mag please Email me and i will send it to you in pdf format or word format.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 08:14:57 am by Diablo Fire »
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Re: 1976--ST LOUIS MISSOURI FIRESTORM 21ST AND LOCUST
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2011, 08:18:19 am »
The Next Three pictures are from a friend of mine from Firepics.net who is a Freelance photographer in the St. Louis Metro Area. They are pictures from his fathers collection that I have permission to use.





« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 08:22:42 am by Diablo Fire »
Dave

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Re: 1976--ST LOUIS MISSOURI FIRESTORM 21ST AND LOCUST
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2011, 08:25:58 am »
This run down of the fire came from a friend of mine on Firepics.net that is a career firefighter with one of the departments in the county.

The Rundown and the next few pictures from the collection of

David J. Dubowski
Captain, Spanish Lake E-5110

Outstanding job on the part of Nozz in posting these classis photos. I was 10 years old and remember my dad talking to the neighbor about the Friday afternoon fire. I collected all of the newspaper clippings that weekend of the fire. About 8 years later when I was getting involved with the FD I asked my mom where they were. She had thrown them all away.

Here's the response to Box 1356, 20th and Locust. Downtown companies were just picking up from a 2nd alarm fire at a paint factory at 21st and Gratiot streets, only about a dozen blocks south of the firestorm. That's why on the 1st alarm you see Pumper 4-02. Pumper 4 had relocated to Pumper 2.
1st Alarm @ 4:18 pm
Pumpers 15, 25, 4-02 H&L 13, H&L 2, BC 801, Squad 2

2nd Alarm @ 4:23 pm by orders of 801 who reported "Fire in an 8 story brick, 3 companies will lead off, 2nd alarm"
Pumpers 5, 7, 18 Snorkel 6 BC 802 Gas Truck 1

3rd Alarm @ 4:26 pm by orders of Deputy Chief 810
Pumpers 17, 9, 21 H&L 8

4th and 5th Alarm @ 4:28 by orders of 810
Pumpers 29, 8, 1, 3 Snorkel 5 BC 807 Gas Truck 2
Pumpers 10, 16, 11, 14 H&L 1

Several specials were then called bringing in all of the city's pumpers and all but 5 of the city's ladders.

Bill Doran was the STLFD's photographer and was on the scene from the start. In his first photo looking south, you see the quarters of E-38 and H&L 8 which had closed 5 years earlier. You can also see the headquartes of the Sporting News Magazine.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 08:28:54 am by Diablo Fire »
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Re: 1976--ST LOUIS MISSOURI FIRESTORM 21ST AND LOCUST
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2011, 08:31:27 am »
The following pictures are from the collection of and used with permission.

David J. Dubowski
Captain, Spanish Lake E-5110







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Diablo Fire

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Re: 1976--ST LOUIS MISSOURI FIRESTORM 21ST AND LOCUST
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2011, 08:58:22 am »




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