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Died in a fire


Events causing fires include:

  • Natural such as:
  • Non Natural such as:
    • 1. Home fires: (Appliances & equipment, candles, children playing with fire, smoking materials, household products, holiday Christmas trees, holiday lights & decorations, etc causes)
    • 2. Chemical & gasses – Natural gas & LP-gas
    • 3. Spontaneous Combustion
    • 4. Fireworks
    • 5. Electrical or lighting equipment
    • 6. Structural fires
    • 7. Vehicle fires
    • 8. Plane crashes (For 9/11 related see: September 11 Memorial)
    • 9. Work place Fires

Deaths primarily occur from a fire as a result of Burns, Respiratory issues, &/or Injuries:

Death may be due to the effects of breathing the products of fire/ burning, principally carbon monoxide, as it replaces oxygen in the bloodstream but also cyanide and many other toxic by-products of combustion. Hydrogen cyanide results from the burning of plastics, such as PVC pipe, and interferes with cellular respiration. Phosgene is formed when household products, such as vinyl materials, are burned. At low levels, phosgene can cause itchy eyes and a sore throat; at higher levels it can cause pulmonary edema and death.

Alternatively, death may be due to the effects of heat (i.e. heat shock), or the inhalation of hot air/ gases. Often smoke incapacitates so quickly that people are overcome and can’t make it to an otherwise accessible exit. As a fire grows inside a building, it will often consume most of the available oxygen, slowing the burning process. This “incomplete combustion” results in toxic gases.

Heat & fire can cause the human flesh to burn from minor or 1st degree to 4th degree, which involves deeper tissues, such as muscle, tendons, or bone to death. The prognosis is worse in those with larger burns, those who are older, and those who are females. The presence of a smoke inhalation injury, other significant injuries such as long bone fractures, and serious co-morbidities (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, psychiatric illness, and suicidal intent) also influence prognosis.

The effects of heat and smoke / fumes are usually more rapid (in a house fire) than the effects of direct injury from flames. Heat is also a respiratory hazard, as superheated gases burn the respiratory tract. When the air is hot enough, one breath can kill.

Structural failure, trampling, crashes and similar causes can result in injuries that incapacitate or cause death.

Deadly Fires:

Notables





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