August 1st, 1932 – FDNY Companies were turned out to a reported fire in the sub-cellar of the Ritz Tower. Located at 113 East 57 Street, the Ritz is a 41 story hotel/residential building with stores on the 1st floor. It was one of the tallest residential buildings in New York City. While members were working to extinguish the fire, fumes from the paint shop met the high heat from the fire causing an explosion. Lt James Hartnett, L-16 and FF Thomas S Finn, E-65 were closest to the explosion and were killed instantly. The Incident Commander promptly transmitted the 2nd alarm for box 924. Uninjured firemen near the explosion rushed to remove the injured when, with in 3 minutes of the 1st explosion, a 2nd occured. The 2nd was more powerful and bigger than the 1st, blowing out partition walls, traveling up the dumbwaiter shaft to the 1st floor. 5 firemen were killed in the 2nd explosion and another succumed to his injuries 2 weeks later.
We remember FDNY members killed at the Ritz Tower Explosion Box 66-22-0924 occuring August 1st, 1932 at 113 East 57 Street.
Lt James Hartnett, L-16 August 1, 1932
FF Thomas S Finn, E-65 August 1, 1932
FF James F Greene, E-65 August 1, 1932
FF Louis Hardina, L-16 August 1, 1932
FF William L Pratt, L-7 detailed to L-2 August 1, 1932
Lt John H Cosgrove, E-65 August 1, 1932
FF Peter A Daly, E-39 August 1, 1932
FF Edward R Maloney, E-39 August 18, 1932