Joy Rodowicz

#TBT From The NFPA Archives: Oil Refinery Fire, 1928

Blog Post created by Joy Rodowicz Employee on Feb 15, 2018

Ninety years ago, 14 men lost their lives and 11 people were injured when a large fire and explosion occurred at an oil refinery located in Everett, Massachusetts.



From the NFPA Quarterly, v.21, no.4, 1928


At 3:03 P.M. on February 10, 1928, a vaporizer exploded, showering burning oil upon all employees in the vicinity. A portion of the vaporizer was thrown 120 ft., landing on two men. The shower of burning oil was responsible for the fourteen deaths and eleven serious injuries. Great heroism was shown by other employees in rescuing those enveloped in flaming oil. It is reported that men who wore heavy winter clothing suffered less seriously than those lightly clad…Public and private fire alarms were given, the private fire brigade assembled and soon foam streams from the foam fire pump and portable foam generators, as well as streams from private hydrants, were in service… Meanwhile the public fire department arrived and immediately a third alarm was sent in which summoned four pumpers with two others from Chelsea and two from Boston, although the latter were not used. This equipment used nine hose streams, principally for cooling purposes on exposed apparatus.



At the time of the fire, the property damage was estimated to be about $172,000.


For more information regarding this and other moments in fire history, please feel free to reach out to the NFPA Research Library & Archives.


The NFPA Archives houses all of NFPA's publications, both current and historic.

Library staff are available to answer research questions from members and the general public.