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2022: The year in fire photos

Early tragedy, daring rescues, mega-fires and history-making moments defined the year


Reflections on years past are often most powerful through pictures, as we recall both our initial reactions and lingering emotions connected to these snapshots in time, whether major milestones or more personal moments.

For 2022, the year was unique due to its tragic start – two multiple-fatality fires, first in Philadelphia, then the Bronx, in the first part of January. But the year was not all pain, of course. Firefighters and other first responders showed time and time again their perseverance, bravery and skill in service to their communities. We tried to capture some of these milestone moments below, along with some of the more unique responses and events that marked the year.

Watch a video of the year in fire photos below.

Philadelphia fire kills 12


Philadelphia firefighters clear debris from the scene of a deadly row house fire, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia. Officials say firefighters and police responded to the fire at a three-story rowhouse early Wednesday around 6:40 a.m. and found flames coming from the second-floor windows.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

A special surprise


Jacob Ibarra, 20, is a big fan of firefighters. He got to meet several Lubbock firefighters.

Photo/Tribune News Service

Bronx fire kills 19


Firefighters work outside an apartment building after a fire in the Bronx, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in New York.

Photo/Yuki Iwamura/Associated Press

Funding for wildfire damage


Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the federal government will provide California $600 million to help the state recover from a historically severe wildfire season. Harris appeared at a press conference at the U.S. Forest Service’s Del Rosa Fire Station in San Bernardino.

Photo/Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/Tribune News Service

Baltimore LODD


Firefighters embrace each other after a deceased firefighter was pulled out of a building collapse while battling a two-alarm fire in a vacant row home, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, in Baltimore. Officials said several firefighters died during the blaze. The U.S. Census estimates there are 17 million vacant homes across the U.S.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Pa. bridge collapse


A two-lane bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh early Friday, Jan. 28, prompting rescuers to rappel nearly 150 feet (46 meters) while others formed a human chain to help rescue multiple people from a dangling bus.

Photo/Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

A fire department wedding


Travis County Emergency Services District #1 organized a wedding at the station in under two hours so Driver/Operator Dylan Fischer and his bride, Nina, would have their special day.

Photo/Travis County ESD #1

Maryland apartment blast


Firefighters work the scene after an explosion and fire caused an apartment building to collapse in Silver Spring, Md., Thursday, March, 3, 2022. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service reports that multiple people were critically hurt in the fire that started at about 10:30 a.m. at a four-story building at the Friendly Garden Apartments in Silver Spring, Md.

Photo/Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Floating fire station opens


Fireboat Station No. 35, the first floating firehouse in the western hemisphere, according to the San Francisco Fire Department, officially opened on March 10.

Photo/London Breed

Russia-Ukraine War


In this photo released by Ukrainian State Emergency Service press service, firefighters evacuate a man from an apartment building hit by shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 14, 2022.

Ukrainian State Emergency Service via AP

9/11 Tribute Museum closes its doors


Left: A plea for financial support is posted in the window of the 9/11 Tribute Museum, in New York, Monday, March 21, 2022. Right: The helmet and turnout coat of a New City Fire Department firefighter and other artifacts from the Sept, 11, 2001 attacks at the World Trader Center, are displayed at the 9/11 Tribute Museum, in New York, Monday, March 21, 2022. Sixteen years and five million visitors later, what is now the 9/11 Tribute Museum, is poised to close within weeks, its leaders say, barring a last-minute rescue from millions of dollars in debt and a plan to meet future needs.

AP Photo/Richard Drew

Ind. Walmart blaze


Crews in central Indiana battled a massive fire at a Walmart distribution center on Wednesday, March 16.

Photo/Pike Township Fire Department

‘Borderline miraculous’ rescue


A man in his 30s told firefighters he was trapped two days in a 16-inch storm drain in Antioch, California, rescuers say.

Photo/Contra Costa FPD

Stadium fire


Firefighters extinguished a blaze that torched several rows of seats and a suite area at the Denver Broncos’ stadium on March 24.

Photo/Denver Fire Department

Honoring EMS


The “Unmasking Our Heroes” exhibition opens at the New York City Fire Museum on Friday, April 15.




A FDNY truck carries the casket of late firefighter Timothy Klein arrives to St. Francis DeSales church Friday, April 29, 2022, in New York. Klein, 31, died Sunday when flames engulfed the second floor of the home, causing part of the ceiling to collapse.

AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

Presidential honors


President Joe Biden awards Firefighter Chad Titus the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor in the East Room of the White House.

Photo/Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

Philadelphia LODD


Left: Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a building that caught fire then collapsed early Saturday, June 18, 2022 in Philadelphia. Right: The remains of Lt. Sean Williamson, a 27-year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department, are brought to Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic Church for funeral mass in Philadelphia, Monday, June 27, 2022. Williamson was killed in an early morning building collapse on June 18. He was 51.

Photos/Left: Philadelphia FD; Right: Matt Rourke

Hoover Dam blast


Firefighters extinguish a fire at the Hoover Dam that borders Nevada and Arizona on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, near Boulder City, Nev.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation via AP

Wildfire threatens California’s giant sequoias


A firefighter clears loose brush from around a Sequoia tree in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park, Calif., in July 2022. The U.S. Forest Service is taking emergency action to speed up approval of projects to clear underbrush in giant sequoia groves to save the world’s largest trees from the increasing threat of wildfire.

Garrett Dickman/NPS via AP

Tragedy in Pennsylvania


Firefighters set up lights in front of a fatal house fire at 733 First Street in Nescopeck, Pa, Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. The fire in Nescopeck was reported around 2:30 a.m. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Photo/Jimmy May/Bloomsburg Press Enterprise via AP

Cuban firefighters killed


Left: Helicopters hauling water fly over the Matanzas Supertanker Base, as firefighters and specialists work to quell the blaze which began during a thunderstorm in Matanzas, Cuba, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. Cuban authorities say lightning struck a crude oil storage tank at the base, sparking a fire that sparked four explosions. Right: A firefighter walks past photos and caskets of those who died in the fires at the Matanzas Supertanker Base, an oil storage facility, during a funeral ceremony inside the Firefighters Museum in Matanzas, Cuba, Friday, Aug. 19, 2022.

AP Photos/Ismael Francisco

Ind. home explosion


Emergency crews respond to a house explosion on North Weinbach Avenue in Evansville, Ind., Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 10, 2022. Several people were killed Wednesday when a house exploded in the southern Indiana city of Evansville, authorities said.

Denny Simmons/Evansville Courier & Press via AP

Mississippi water crisis


Jackson City firefighters and Humana volunteers help distribute over forty thousand bottles of water and three thousand MRE’s to Jackson residents Friday Sep. 2, 2022, in Jackson, Miss.

AP Photo/Steve Helber

September 11 anniversary


A firefighter salutes outside the FDNY Engine 10, Ladder 10 fire station near the commemoration ceremony on the 21st anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in New York.

AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson

Apparatus collision in N.J.


Eight Paterson firefighters were injured when a pair of fire trucks collided Saturday evening while responding to a call, officials said.

Photo/Jerry Speziale, Paterson, N.J. public safety director of police and fire

A special rescue


Firefighters pose with Cesar, a blind dog that was rescued from a hold in Pasadena, Calif. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. Firefighters have rescued a 13-year-old blind dog that fell into a hole at a California construction site.

Pasadena Fire Department via AP

September wildfires


Firefighters battle the Mosquito Fire burning on Michigan Bluff Rd. in unincorporated Placer County, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. Federal investigators have taken possession of a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. utility transmission pole and attached equipment as part of their probe into what started a blaze in Northern California that’s become the largest in the state this year., the utility said in a regulatory filing Monday, Sept. 26.

AP Photo/Noah Berger

Hurricane Ian


Left: Naples Fire Rescue Department firefighters look out at the firetruck that stands in water from the storm surge from Hurricane Ian on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022; Right: Firefighters in Orange County, Fla., help people stranded by Hurricane Ian early Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. Ian marched across central Florida on Thursday as a tropical storm after battering the state’s southwest coast, dropping heavy rains that caused flooding and led to inland rescues and evacuations.

Photos/Left - Naples FD; Right - Orange County Fire Rescue’s Public Information Office via AP

USFA Summit on Fire Prevention & Control


President Joe Biden addressed fire service leaders during the U.S. Fire Administrator’s Summit on Fire Prevention and Control, highlighting his administration’s efforts to help the fire service and lauding firefighters for their continuous work in service to their communities and their country.

Memorial Weekend


Pipes and drums prepare for the start of Memorial Weekend.


Kavanagh makes history


New York City Mayor Eric Adams appointed acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh as commissioner on a permanent basis. “Laura Kavanagh is a proven and tested leader, and I’m proud to announce her historic appointment today [Oct. 27],” he said.

Photo/Yuki Iwamura/Associated Press

New York state snowstorm


The Carthage Fire Department posted a picture of firefighters trying to make their way to a home through waist-deep snow on Nov. 18.

Photo/Carthage Fire Department

FDNY performs dramatic high-rise rescue


FDNY said Sunday that 43 civilians, firefighters and police officers were injured in the apartment fire.

Photo/Theodore Parisienne/Tribune News Service

FDNY firefighters honored for rope rescue


From left, FDNY firefighters Darren Harsch, Adam Nordenschild, Artur Podgorski, and Belvon Koranteng, stand beside FDNY Commissioner Laura Laura Kavanagh as she speaks at Engine Company 39, and Ladder Company 16.

Photo/Barry Williams

Thanksgiving with the president


President Joe Biden, with his arm on the shoulder of Nantucket Fire Department Chief Michael Cranson, first lady Jill Biden, right, and their grandson Beau Biden, visit with firefighters on Thanksgiving Day at the Nantucket Fire Department in Nantucket, Mass.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Plane into power lines


First responders work to rescue aircraft passengers after the small plane crashed and became stuck in live power lines, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in Montgomery Village, a northern suburb of Gaithersburg, Md. Both occupants were successfully rescued.

AP Photo/Tom Brenner

Pa. firefighters killed during search efforts


Marvin Gruber, 59, and Zachary Paris, 36, members of the Community Fire Company in New Tripoli, were killed Wednesday evening fighting a house fire on Clamtown Road in West Penn Township, Schuylkill County.

Image/WFMZ-TV via AP

FDNY Firefighter suffers fatal injuries during training



Watch the year in fire photos