The Great Bellows Falls Fire – Bellows Falls, Vermont – March 26, 1912

WHAT: City/Building Fire WHEN: March 26, 1912 WHERE: Bellows Falls, Vermont FATALITIES: Zero dead – three building and numerous businesses were destroyed What proved to be the most disastrous fire as far as loss of property was concerned, that ever visited Bellows Falls, broke out Tuesday morning at 2 o’clock, and before It was extinguished,…

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Rock Island Train Wreck – Green Mountain, Iowa

WHAT: Train wreck WHEN: March 21, 1910 – 8:17 a.m. WHERE: Between Green Mountain and Gladbrook, Iowa FATALITIES: 52 dead, 39 injured From the front page of the La Crosse Tribune, Monday, March 21, 1910: The worst wreck in the history of Iowa railroading occurred at 8:17 a. m. today four miles north of Green…

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Gulf Hotel Fire – September 7, 1943

Fifty-five men, many of them elderly and living off government relief, died in the early morning of September 7, 1943 in the worst hotel fire in Houston, Texas history. The fire started around 12:10 a.m. the front desk clerk was alerted to a problem on the second floor. A lit cigarette inadvertently caused a mattress…

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The Terminal Hotel Fire – Atlanta, Georgia

WHAT: Hotel fire WHEN: May 16, 1938 around 3:00am WHERE: Atlanta, Georgia FATALITIES: 35 dead, as many as 15 injured On May 16, 1938 the most disastrous fire in Atlanta’s history at time based on the loss of life, broke out in the kitchen of the Terminal Hotel. Located in the Hotel Row District in Atlanta at the corner of Spring and…

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The Burning of the Iroquois Hotel – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

CITY IN RUINS WHAT: Hotel Fire WHEN: March 12, 1907 WHERE: Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan CASUALTIES: Zero. The hotel was totally destroyed While not a fire that resulted in any loss of life, the Iroquois Hotel fire of 1907 is fascinating to me. The postcard above was mailed the very same day that the hotel…

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IT DID HAPPEN HERE – The Los Angeles Snow & Hail Storm of 1944

City in Ruins presents: The Los Angeles Snowstorm of 1944.

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Barton Hotel Fire, Chicago, Illinois – February 12, 1955

WHAT: Hotel fire WHEN: February 12, 1955 WHERE: Chicago, Illinois FATALITIES: 29 HUMAN TORCH BLAMED FOR START OF FIRE At approximately 2 a.m. on the morning on February 12, 1955, C.W. Harvey, night manager of a  West Madison Street (Skid Row) flophouse called the Barton Hotel heard a commotion coming from the second floor of the 49 year-old hotel…

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The Newhall House Fire – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

WHAT: Hotel fire WHEN: January 10, 1883 WHERE: Milwaukee, Wisconsin FATALITIES: At least 74, maybe as many as 90 The Newhall House was built by a group led buy Daniel Newhall. It was opened to the public on August 26th, 1857. The building was made of Milwaukee Brick and occupied the corner Broadway and Michigan Streets in downtown Milwaukee.…

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Marlborough Hotel Fire – January 3, 1940

On the incredibly cold morning of January 3, 1940, just before dawn, a fire caused by a lit cigarette thrown down a garbage chute ravaged the Marlborough Apartment Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The cigarette has probably been smoldering for hours before finally catching fire and eventually blew out of the garbage chute, causing a heat explosion…

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