Watch brief documentary produced by the Fire Department of the City of New York in the aftermath of what was then, the deadliest day in FDNY history. 12 FDNY Firefighters were killed in the line of duty on October 17, 1966.
To honor the legacy of bravery, heroism and service to others exhibited by the 12 FDNY Firefighters killed in the line of duty at the 23rd Street fire on Oct. 17, 1966, the FDNY Foundation is proud to announce the creation of the 23rd Street Fire Legacy Fund, to support the ongoing FDNY Campaign for Training and Education.
“This was not an ordinary fire, this was the definition of a tragedy,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. “It is one of the most painful days in FDNY history, one we will always remember, losses we always carry with us.”
A limited edition book commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the 23rd Street Fire supports 23rd Street Fire Legacy Fund. Prior to September 11th, the 23rd Street fire on October 17, 1966 was the single worst loss of New York City Firefighters in the line of duty. The ground floor of the Wonder Drug Store at the corner of 23rd Street and Broadway collapsed during a five-alarm fire that originated in a storage area, which was concealed by a four-inch thick cinderblock wall illegally constructed by the building’s previous owner.
A special challenge coin honoring those lost on October 17, 1966 has been minted by the FDNY and FDNY Foundation to mark the 50th Anniversary of the 23rd Street Fire. The front of the coin features the FDNY shield and the box number of the 23rd Street Fire. The back of the coin includes the 12 names of the firefighters killed in the line of duty with the phrase We Will Never Forget.
Retired Chiefs Vincent Dunn, Edward Butler and Allen Hay recall the 23rd Street Fire in two special anniversary podcasts. The Chiefs discuss responding to Box 598 and lessons learned throughout the decades that have followed.