Leadership

Preplanning Pays Off at St. Louis State Hospital Fire

Issue 8 and Volume 118.

Preplanning Pays Off at St. Louis State Hospital Fire —St. Louis Globe Democrat photos 1200 mental patients evacuated and fire extinguished-all in one hour PREPLANNING by fire fighters and intensive drilling by the hospital staff averted a major holocaust at the St. Louis State Hospital, St. Louis, Mo., on January 15, when fire raged through a storage room on the third floor of the sprawling, four-story, 100-year-old building. Two women died but 1200 were evacuated safely, some suffering from minor smoke inhalation. The fire originated in Ward 3C, in a room used for the storage of clothing and bed linens. The room was constructed of ordinary wood 2×4’s enclosed on both sides by 1/2-inch painted plywood, and measured 20 by 10 feet. A dividing partition of the same material separated the room into two separate units. Located in the west wing, the ward contained a total of 53 persons at…

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