On April 16, 1947, a fire broke out aboard a freighter igniting approximately 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate (a compound used to make dynamite) in the ship's hold. Texas City exploded.
In addition to 300 dead there were 100,000 left homeless. When the fire destroyed the waterworks, the city's water supply was cut off and the firefighters were forced to give up.
The Fire Fighters and their Arizona affiliate are organizing a memorial observance and soliciting donations for families of the 19 fire fighters from an elite squad who perished June 30.