Image result for deadly school fire on this day in 1958

The Our Lady of Angels School was operated by the Sisters of Charity in
Chicago. In 1958, there were well over 1,200 students enrolled at the school,
which occupied a large, old building. Unfortunately, little in the way of fire prevention was done before December 1958. The building did not have any sprinklers and no regular preparatory drills were conducted. When a small
fire broke out in a pile of trash in the basement, it led to disaster on this
day in 1958.

The fire probably began about 2:30 p.m. and, within minutes, teachers on
the first floor smelled it. These teachers led their classes outside, but did
not sound a general alarm. The school’s janitor discovered the fire at 2:42
and shouted for the alarm to be rung. However, he was either not heard or
the alarm system did not operate properly, and the students in classrooms
on the second floor were completely unaware of the rapidly spreading
flames beneath them.

It took only a few more minutes for the fire to reach the second floor where
panic ensued.

When the fire was finally extinguished several hours later, the authorities
found that 90 students and 3 nuns had been killed in the fire.

Panicked parents raced to Our Lady of the Angels from all over
the city, and the police soon had to set up barriers to restrain
the anxious crowd of about 5,000 parents and onlookers.

Image result for deadly school fire on this day in 1958

Officials inspect a classroom after the 1958 fire at Our Lady of the
Angels School.

posted by Bob Karm in ANNIVERSARY,DEATH,Disaster,Fire,HISTORY,School and have No Comments

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