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Construction Concerns for Firefighters: Our Lady of the Angels Fire, Part 2

by Gregory Havel Saturday, December 1, was the 54th anniversary of the fire at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic School in Chicago, Illinois. Three of the sisters who taught at the school and 92 children died. Many more were injured by heat, smoke, and jumping from windows to escape the fire, despite the fire department's efforts in rescue over ground ladders (Photo 1). The school had about 1,600 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, with about 1,400 in the main school building in grades two through eight. The school was overcrowded, with about 60 students in each of the 24 classrooms. Several independent investigations were conducted, by the Cook County Coroner, the National Fire ...

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