Deadliest fires in facilities for older adults

Published on October 5, 2004
Deadliest fires in U.S. facilities for older adults since 1950


Katie Jane Nursing Home, Warrenton, MO, February 17, 1957, 72 killed vs. total of 149 patients.


Golden Age Nursing Home, Fitchville, OH, November 23, 1963, 63 killed vs. total of 84 patients.


Nursing home, Largo, FL, March 29, 1953, 33 killed, including 32 patients vs. total of 45.


Harmer House Convalescent Home, Marietta, OH, January 9, 1970, 31 killed vs. total of 46 patients.


Rest home, Keansburg, NJ (sheltered care facility, not a nursing home, some residents were older adults), January 9, 1981, 31 killed vs. unreported total of residents.


Nursing home (intermediate care type), Chicago, IL, January 30, 1976, 24 killed vs. total of 83 patients.


Boarding home, Bradley Beach, NJ (boarding home, not a nursing home, most residents were older adults), July 26, 1980, 24 killed vs. total of 36 residents.


Convalescent home, Hoquiam, WA (may not have been a nursing home), January 30, 1951, 21 killed vs. total of 29 patients.


Nursing home, Hillsboro, MO, October 31, 1952, 20 killed vs. total of 70 patients.


Nursing home, Hartford, CT, February 26, 2003, 16 killed vs. total of 148 patients.

Source: NFPA files on major fire incidents.

Deadliest fires in foreign facilities for older adults since 1950


Home for older adults, Kingston, Jamaica (residential custodial care facility, with nurses on duty, but not a nursing home), May 20, 1980, 146 killed vs. total of 211 residents.


Home for older adults, Yokohama, Japan (not a nursing home because no nursing staff), February 17, 1955, 99 killed, including 98 patients vs. total of 143 patients.


Home for older adults, Notre Dame du Lac, Quebec, Canada (not a nursing home because no nursing staff), December 2, 1969, 40 killed vs. total of 67 residents, including at least 20 who were bedridden.


Home for older adults, Virrat, Finland (not a nursing home), January 22, 1979, 26 killed, mostly bedridden.


Nursing home, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, July 14, 1980, 25 killed (all patients in the north wing of the third floor) vs. 198 total patients.


Retirement home, Saint Jean de Losne, France (may not be a nursing home), April 23, 1980, 24 killed (all bedridden) vs. unreported total number of patients.


Nursing home, Grandvilliers, France, January 9, 1985, 24 killed (some early accounts had death toll of 30) vs. 180 total patients.


Rest home, Gander, Newfoundland, Canada, December 26, 1976, 21 killed vs. unreported total number of patients.


Home for older adults, Nottinghamshire, UK (not a nursing home), December 15, 1974, 18 killed vs. unreported total number of patients.


Retirement home, Higashimurayama, Japan (not a nursing home), June 6, 1987, 17 killed vs. 74 total residents.


Nursing home, unidentified town, Costa Rica, July 19, 2000, 17 killed vs. 41 total patients.


Convalescent home, Pointe aux Trembles, Quebec, Canada (may not be a nursing home), April 14, 1957, 17 killed vs. 27 total patients.













Source: NFPA files on major fire incidents.

Disclaimer: Death tolls are based on information in NFPA’s records. Please contact us at to provide any updated information.    

Updated: 3/03

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