2 Die in Hotel Fire
Fire, which started in a Christmas tree in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel at Jersey City, N. J., was responsible for the death of two employees and for the injury of more than twenty of the hotel guests. Fire started at 11 a.m., in the lobby of the seven-story brick structure.
Those dead were trapped on the sixth and seventh floors and had died of suffocation.
Two small boys had been playing with a toy electric train at the foot of the tree, and it is believed that a spark, caused by a short circuit, set fire to the tree.
Some of guests escaped injury by waiting in their rooms until rescued, although many of the rooms became filled with smoke.
The telephone operator remained at the switchboard telephoning guests, and was finally forced to flee, when her clothes caught on fire. She died of her injuries.
When the first company arrived, there were screams of those who were trapped on the upper floors. Some jumped into life nets.
The hotel has one block frontage and is from fifty to seventy-five feet deep.