Minneapolis Fireman Killed
Trapped when a false ceiling of the Happy Hour bar and night club fell during a three-alarm fire, which badly wrecked the occupancy on the night of November 5th, 1947, Fireman Henry A. Obinger of Station 10, Minneapolis Fire Department, was killed and six other firemen were injured. The victim was the sixth member of the department to lose his life while on duty during the past year.
According to fire Chief George Lockhart, Obinger was pinned and smothered by a flimsy false work when its wooden bracing burned away and dropped the ceiling of wood, plaster and glass. .
The Happy Hour fire began shortly after 7:00 I’M. in a small, glassenclosed kitchen where a chef was cooking. blames broke out in the grease chute over the broiler and employees called firemen and fought the (ire with hand extinguishers. Believing the blaze extinguished, it is said, a suction fan was turned on to draw out the smoke but according to Chief Lockhart, the flames had been swept by the fan through the narrow area between the ceiling proper and the false, decorative ceiling.
A dozen firemen were fighting the fire on the floor of the dining room when the falsework fell on Obinger. While fellow firemen covered rescuers with protecting streams, the victim was pulled out but was past aid. Other firemen injured included District Chief William lluttner, Capt. Richard Craddick, Firemen F.klund, Berryman and Petroske, all of Ladder 1; Capt. Henry Story and Fireman Horton of Engine 6, and Fireman Tilbury of Engine 4.
The Minneapolis Fire Department’s smoke extractor was operated at the front entrance of the Happy Hour to remove the smoke and gases, following the fatal fire.