About Fire

     Fire is an element of nature, there is no stopping it. Well one can stop a fire from spreading and one can prevent fires from starting. However some fires cannot be prevented. Ones that might start up in someones home or workplace can be prevented with the proper procedures. There is little warning though when a fire is going to start. It just happens, especially out in mother natures playground.

Fire(97390)Credit: John McColgan

     Fire's are unpredictable, some spread faster than others, but what is predictable about fires is that they destroy. Fire's also kill. People and animals have and can die in fires and even if the fire itself doesn't kill them, the smoke they inhale very well might. That is, if they inhale enough of it and don't get the proper medical attention they need immediately.

How Can A Fire Start?

     There are many different ways a fire can start. The sun can be so hot where there's dried grass, that it can literally set the grass on fire.

     During a storm, if there's lightning, lightning can strike a tree, the ground or a building and cause it to burst into flames. One natural disaster can after all start another, as with lightning starting a fire.

     A camper could start a camp fire and not put it out properly later. That's why it is important that if you're going to start a camp fire that you use not just a bucket of water, but plenty of sand. Make sure there are no remaining embers. The smallest flicker can start a rampaging forest fire or wherever the camp fire might have been set up.

MatchCredit: Sebastian Ritter

     Someone could be at home and fall asleep with a still lit cigarette or cigar in their hand. It's happened in the past and doubtless will happen again.

     The wiring in someones building could be faulty and start a fire. One should always make sure that there's no vermin, or escaped rodents loose in the place, because they can chew the wires. Chewing the wires can ruin them and create a fire hazard. Ones which are in the walls, will never be noticed unless construction is going on, or the fire has already happened.

     Fire's can start from a fallen candle when people are trying to be romantic, be it in their bedroom, bathroom or kitchen. Even restaurants which allow candles are not safe from never having a fire. Though that is what fire extinguishers are for, but they can only do so much.

     Other fires can be started by a grease fire at a fast food restaurant, using oil to fry at home, or from the outdoor grill.

     Just because there are firefighters, doesn't mean one shouldn't be careful and follow proper procedure to ensure their own safety and that of others. Firefighters have died trying to save other people's lives and battling fires. No one is immune to fire. Those who live through it may find themselves horribly burned, scarred and even having to amputate certain parts of their limbs.

5 Horrible Fires Since 1912-2012

1. Happy Valley Rarecourse Fire

Happy Valley Rarecourse FireCredit: wikimedia commons


     The Happy Valley Rarecourse Fire took place in the year 1918 on February 26th. It was a fire which claimed a total of at least 590 lives of which 576 were definite by the next day, February 27, 1918. This fire was caused by a temporary grandstone which collapsed and caused a domino effect. When the temporary grandstone collapsed it knocked over several food stalls. In turn this caused bamboo matting to be set afire. It destroyed the Happy Valley Rarecourse, which was a horse racing and tourist attraction in Hong Kong. It has however since been rebuilt in 1995.


2. Cocoanut Grove Fire


     Boston's primer nightclub, Cocoanut Grove on November 18, 1942 went up in flames. The fire which started approximately at night about 10:15pm in the downstairs Melody Lounge official reports state. It is believed that it was started by a match that a 16 year old busboy, Stanley Tomaszewski had discarded, thinking he'd put it out. Instead however, shortly after something ignited in the canopy of artificial palms. Yet the official report never mentions that the match and the fire which took the lives of 492 club goers and club employees was connected. It was the second worst fire in American History, the first of which was the Iroquois Theatre Fire of 1903. It took this tragedy led to code and safety standards reform across the country. It was a tragedy which so shook the nation, that instead of WWII being front-page news, the Cocoanut Grove Fire was front-page news instead.



3. Cinema Rex Fire

Cinema Rex FireCredit: wikimedia commons


     It was on the nineteenth day of August, 1978 that a fire set ablaze in the Cinema Rex. This fire however was neither natural, nor an accident, but a deliberate ploy by revolutionaries to stir up trouble. The total casualties listed by The National Fire Protection Association was 422. It is considered to be the third worst terrorist attack in modern history. It surpassed only by the 2007 Kahtaniya bombings in Iraq which killed 796, coming in as the second worst terrorist attack in modern history. The worst terrorist attack in modern history is and still remains the September 11, 2001 attacks.


4. Dabwali Fire Accident


     The Debawli fire accident was caused by a synthetic tent which caught ablaze due to an electric generator short-circuiting. This happened in 1995 on December 23. If the fire had not spread so quickly, or if it had not blocked the main entrance and resulted in a stampede of 1,500 people those who died might still be alive today. Or at least the casualties may have been by far fewer. Had there been more exits and signs pointing to them, more lives may have been saved. Sources believe that at least 400 died and that another 160 were injured. At least half of the 160 injured has severe burns. It is believed that the total number dead by some sources is actually up to 540 people, of which 170 of them were children.


5. Ycuá Bolaños Supermarket Fire


     The fire which took place on August 1, 2004 was believed to be caused by a 'barbecue chimney which was faulty and leaked hot flammable gasses into the ceiling' [3678]. It was that which sources believe caused the supermarket to ignite into flames. Flames which it took firefighters seven hours to finally put out. The death toll was 394, which left behind 204 orphans. Of the death toll, nine were missing. There were also nearly 500 injured, because of the fire. The people who died and were injured in the fire suffered needlessly. They suffered, because the owners Juan Pío Paiva and his son, Víctor Daniel not deliberately closed doors to prevent people from leaving. This was so that the people could not leave without paying for merchandise. Although the complex also 'lacked emergency exits and efficient fire protection systems' [3678].