St. John’s Fire Claims 104 Lives

St. John’s Fire Claims 104 Lives

Firemen Are Shown Fighting the Blaze at the Knights of Columbus Hall in St. John's Where at Least 104 Persons Lost Their Lives

At least 104 persons lost their lives on December 12 in a fire which spread with considerable speed through the Knights of Columbus Hostel in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where 500 people were attending a barn dance. Most of the bodies were found piled up near the exits where dozens were trampled to death in the rush to escape.

One hundred thirty other persons were taken to hospitals. Many of the dead and injured were service men.

The first warning of the blaze was heard by townspeople at 11 P.M. when a radio broadcast from the hall said fire had broken out but was under control.

Shortly after, however, the blaze sprang up again and swept through the structure with such speed that by the time firemen arrived from their station only 200 yards away, the whole building was a roaring mass of flames.

The blaze was not fully extinguished until 2 A.M. the following morning.

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