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The Iroquois Theater Fire Essay

1363 words - 6 pages

The Iroquois Theater fire
This horrible incident took place in a theater where the audience was cast of 2000 women and children. School had been out for Christmas and that gave incentive to many of them to show up to the Wednesday matinee performance of Mr. Blue beard. Later during half way of the show, a spark from a spotlight fell down onto the curtains which caused the fire to start, having the curtain fall down onto those on the stage. The crowd bolted out in chaos, even though there were 27 exits, only a few were open for the audience and actors to storm out of there. This is because that the doors were locked, and the idea of having exits specifically for this type of situation had ...view middle of the document...

“A flawed building design was a major factor to the ridiculous number of deaths and injuries” said Chris Jelenwicz. During that time, the hotel had only one stairway for exiting which was available, the stairway was not fire-rated. According to Jelenwicz, “once the fire had started on the third floor, there was no way of not conceivably mistaking that stair way to be a chimney. It had allowed the smoke and fire to spread up across the stairs and into the upper floors.” Many guests had passed away in their sleep. Just because the stairway was unavailable for others to walk down on, many had taken the horrible decision to jump into their death. Some had died while attempting to escape the building as they climbed down a makeshift, escape line which was formed of bed sheets. There were other factors which lead to the excessive amount of deaths and injuries, some of which were the combustible interior finishes, not having the fire department called in as soon as the fire had started, and the absence of an automatic fire suppression and detection system. This entrapped a lot of the hotel’s occupants into their death. The Winecoff’s hotel incident was a point which changed hotel structure into a much more safe form in this day and age, having people safe from fires. Comparing this incident shows that there is somewhat of a pattern, that of which building owners refuse to install fire detection or fire suppression systems; just because they believe it won’t happen to them. It would’ve amounted into a smaller cost compared to the loss not only of their business, but the lives that were ended and turned to ashes.
It was memorials day weekend during 1977 at the Beverly hill supper club. Investigators believe that the fire was initially ignited by an electrical short, and had apparently burned deep inside a heavily plastered wall of the zebra room, an hour before it was noticed. The club was shaped as if it were a maze, nothing but narrow corridors intertwining, which made it very difficult to locate the exits. State codes back then didn’t require for buildings to have fire alarm nor automatic sprinkler systems. Therefor none were installed. The club had air space between the roof and ceiling, which was approximately three feet of air space. That had caused for air ducts to be concealed along with the unprotected roof supports. The building was built upon a foundation of block and brick from its exterior. The fire had killed 162 people, the room with the most casualties and fatalities was the Cabaret room, having only one exit and several bodies dropping infront of the only exit due to the heavy amount of smoke. The building had lacked fire alarms and sprinkler systems, not giving any notification to those inside the other rooms that there was a fire. The...

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