History – Why Can't We Learn From It

For much of the past decade, I have written about the fact that we cannot seem to learn anything from the past.


This incident was a watershed event for the fire service. A review of my files indicates that New Jersey passed their fire prevention code in the wake of this tragedy. This fire prevention code dovetailed neatly with our state's Uniform Construction Code that was created in 1977.

There were a great many incidences of communities uncovering and closing illegal, haunted-house occupancies. This was a nationwide phenomenon. We will never know how many lives were saved by these concerted efforts. However it would appear that time has not been kind to the concept of fire prevention and life safety efforts in these sorts of jury-rigged occupancies.

Now here we are in the year 2003. We are living in the midst of a new century. Yet what do we see in the archives of Firehouse.com? We see a fire of the type that should have been abolished almost 20 years ago. In May of next year, we will mark the 20th anniversary of that long forgotten tragedy in Jackson Township, New Jersey. Pay attention to these lessons.

Turning to the story that was written and illustrated by Firefighter/Paramedic Todd Jamison, we read that,