The Waldbaum’s Supermarket Fire and Collapse FDNY 1978
The Waldbaum Super market fire, Brooklyn, New York occurred on August 2, 1978, thirty two years ago. Six firefighters died in the line of duty when the roof of a burning Brooklyn supermarket collapsed, plunging 12 firefighters into the flames. The fire began in a hallway near the compressor room as crews were renovating the store, and quickly escalated to a fourth-alarm. Less than an hour after the fire was first reported, nearly 20 firefighters were on the roof when the central portion gave way.
Thirty-four firefighters, one emergency medical technician and one Emergency Services police officer were injured in the fire and the tragedy is remembered as one of the worst disasters in the New York City Fire Department’s 143-year history.
The FDNY members killed in the Waldbaum’s fire included:
• Lt. James E. Cutillo, Battalion 33
• Firefighter Charles S. Bouton, Ladder Company 156
• Firefighter Harold F. Hastings, Battalion 42
• Firefighter James P. McManus, Ladder Company 153
• Firefighter William O’Connor, Ladder Company 156
• Firefighter George S. Rice, Ladder Company 153
Take the time to head over to Commandsafety.com for the complete posting with incident details, photos, a memorial video clip and diagrams.
The following are a series of photographs of the incident and operations.
Check out the Waldbaum Fire Facebook page, HERE with numerous photos and recollections honoring those that lost their lives and those that operated at FDNY Brooklyn Box 3300.