Minneapolis Experiences Worst Fire in Years
A cigarette thrown into a garbage chute was believed to be the cause of the Marlborough Hotel fire in Minneapolis, Minn. This fire was second to none in the number of deaths in Minneapolis department history.
The first alarm was turned in at 5:53 a. m., and within seven minutes, three more alarms were sent in. When the first units arrived, the building was said to be a mass of flames. One of the first acts of the firemen was to raise ladders to the various floors where there were still victims crying for help. Many could not wait for help to arrive, and they jumped to the ground. Some received critical injuries from the fall, while others died from it.
By the time that streams of water were playing on the blaze, the flames appeared to be everywhere. The water pouring into the burning structure froze almost as rapidly as it fell.
The Marlborough Hotel, a wood structure with brick veneer, was built about forty-five years ago. Surviving occupants of the hotel stated that they heard an explosion which was believed to have come from the garbage chute. Firemen investigating the fire said there may have been a smouldering fire in the chute. When the explosion occurred, the heat had become so intense that it blew the chute out and spread flames in all directions. The loss was estimated at $60,000.