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Charlotte Fire Department

2023: The year in fire photos

Major responses, award and honors, conflicts overseas, devastating wildfires and e-Bike blazes made headlines

As we look back on 2023, it’s easy to see how first responder service often extends far beyond local communities, with many responses making national headlines.

Here we highlight some of the milestone moments, major incidents and unique responses that defined the year ... thus far.

Damar Hamlin cardiac arrest

Tesla strikes fire engine

California Tesla Strikes Fire Truck

In this photo released by Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, firefighters work the scene of a fatal accident involving a Tesla and Contra Costa County fire truck early Saturday morning, Feb. 18, 2023, in Contra Costa, Calif. Fire officials said the Tesla driver was killed and a passenger was critically injured Saturday when the car plowed into the fire truck parked on a Northern California freeway to shield a crew clearing another accident.


USAR teams deploy to Turkey


Photo/ VA-TF1 / USA-1 - Urban Search and Rescue

‘High Roller’ training

High Roller Practice Rescue

Clark County firefighters climb the High Roller ferris wheel during a rescue training Wednesday, March 29, 2023, in Las Vegas.

Ty O’Neil/AP

Indiana industrial fire

Industrial Fire Indiana

Firefighters pour water on an industrial fire in Richmond, Ind., Thursday, April 13, 2023. Multiple fires that began burning Tuesday afternoon were still burning within about 14 acres of various types of plastics stored inside and outside buildings at the former factory site.

Michael Conroy/AP

Fallen firefighters honored during Memorial Weekend



Ukraine-Russia war rages on

Russia Ukraine War

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry, a firefighter tries to put out fire caused by fragments of a Russian rocket after it was shot down by air defense system during the night Russian rocket attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, early Tuesday, May 16, 2023.

Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry via AP

N.C. construction site blaze


Charlotte Fire Department

Firefighter receives presidential Medal of Valor

Joe Biden, Patrick Thornton

President Joe Biden presents the Medal of Valor, the nation’s highest honor for bravery by a public safety officer, to Firefighter Patrick Thornton, of the Fire Dept. of New York City, during an event in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, May 17, 2023, in Washington.

Evan Vucci/AP

Canadian wildfires blanket Northeast in smoke

Canada Wildfires New York

A man runs in front of the sun rising over the lower Manhattan skyline in Jersey City, N.J., Thursday, June 8, 2023. Intense Canadian wildfires are blanketing the northeastern U.S. in a dystopian haze, turning the air acrid, the sky yellowish gray and prompting warnings for vulnerable populations to stay inside.

Seth Wenig/AP

eBike fires ignite in NYC

Ebike NY Grant

Firefighters and investigators go through the aftermath of a fire which authorities say started at an e-bike shop and spread to upper-floor apartments, June 20, 2023, in New York. New York City is receiving $25 million in emergency funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish scores of new e-bike charging stations across the city.

Bebeto Matthews/AP

Cargo ship fire kills 2 firefighters

newark3 (1).jpg

The Grande Costa d Avorio was an ocean-going freight train that each month exported thousands of aging and sometimes inoperable cars from the U.S. to West Africa a lucrative but sometimes dangerous cargo that presented an elevated risk of fire, the NTSB warned. (Andrea Levy)

Andrea Levy

Wildfires devastate Maui communities

Remembering 9/11

APTOPIX Sept 11 Anniversary

A firefighter stands outside the FDNY Ten House near the commemoration ceremony on the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in New York.

Yuki Iwamura/AP

USFA Summit on Fire Prevention and Control


Government officials hear testimonies about challenges involving recruitment, cancer, mental health, EVs, climate change and beyond.


Firefighters on the front lines during Israel-Hamas conflict

Israel Hamas One Month of War Photo Gallery

An Israeli firefighter kneels to compose himself after he and his colleagues extinguished cars set on fire by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, Israel, Monday, Oct. 9, 2023.

Ohad Zwigenberg/AP

Fire, EMS personnel respond to mass shooting in Maine

APTOPIX Maine Shooting

A law enforcement officer carries a rifle outside Central Maine Medical Center during an active shooter situation, in Lewiston, Maine, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023.

Steven Senne/AP

Massive Los Angeles freeway fire snarls commutes

Freeway Fire-Los Angeles

In this photo provided by the California Department of Transportation, a Los Angeles firefighter uses a robotic hose to douse a fire under Interstate 10 that severely damaged the overpass in an industrial zone near downtown Los Angeles, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023. Authorities say firefighters have mostly extinguished a large blaze that burned trailers, cars and other things in storage lots beneath a major highway near downtown Los Angeles, forcing the temporary closure of the roadway.

Caltrans District 7 via AP

Bronx 7-story building collapse

Building Collapse Bronx

First responders work at the scene of a collapsed building in the Bronx borough of New York, Monday, Dec. 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

Yuki Iwamura/AP