The largest single loss of life for firefighters in America occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, when 343 firefighters died. The following numbers are some of the worst documented U.S. fires in terms of firefighters lost:
April 16-17, 1947: 27 firefighters killed following fires and ammonium nitrate explosions aboard two ships docked at Texas City, Texas.
Dec. 22, 1910: 21 firefighters killed at a stockyard and cold storage warehouse in Chicago.
July 29, 1956: 19 firefighters killed at the Shamrock Oil and Gas Corp. refinery in Sun Ray, Texas.
July 9, 1953: 15 firefighters killed in a wildfire in the Mendocino National Forest in California.
July 6, 1994: 14 firefighters killed in a wildfire on South Canyon mountain near Glenwood Springs, Colo.
March 10, 1946: 13 firefighters killed in a roof collapse at the Strand Theatre in Brockton, Mass.
Aug. 4, 1949: 13 firefighters killed in a forest fire at Gates of the Mountain, Mont.
Dec. 21, 1910: 13 firefighters and one police officer killed in a Philadelphia leather remnants factory.
July 5, 1973: 12 firefighters killed at the Doxol Gas Co. in Kingman, Ariz.
Oct. 16, 1966: 12 firefighters killed when a floor collapses at a New York City drugstore.
June 17, 1972: Nine firefighters killed in a collapse at the Hotel Vendome in Boston.
Dec. 4, 1999: Six firefighters in Worcester, Mass., died after they were trapped inside a burning warehouse.
Source: Facts on File, National Fire Protection Association