Iriquios Theater Fire Imagine being trapped inside a fire where you either were lucky to escape or you would burn to death. If that wasn't bad enough you could as well suffocate. The Iroquois theater fire was one of the deadliest fires at that time. The Iroquois Theater Fire had a great impact on public safety


The flames all started when arc light sputtered which then ignited to cause the devastating fire to happen.

It was a December 1903 only two weeks from when the theater opened and there were many thing flawed at the theater. The theater was in a rush to open as quick as possible.

"The theater did not come fully with fire fighting equipment it was also advertised as fire proof or with sprinklers that they said there was going to be"

There are many issues with the theater opening as such as they closed up the whole upper area so that they couldn't sneak into better seats.

First there were many issues such as the exits signs were off and so they introduced the law were the signs need to be lit up. Next, so the theater could could open quicker they "bribed the inspector by giving them tickets to enter to the show.

Some of the flaws were:

  1. The curtains were mostly made up of cloth, exit doors opened in,
  2. Alarm box was never installed,
  3. The patron were trapped when the management bolted shut the gates so they couldnt sneak to better seats
  4. Two vents were supposed to be to filter any smoke or gas but were nailed shut to prevent water from coming in
  5. The fire escape was never finished so it went no where.

The after math

The after math was really devastating with more than 600 casualties and 212 being children. A man who escapedhad to manually pull a fire alarm to get the firefighters to come but not until 15 were the flames visible to see from the street point of view.

A man that was supposed to attend the show that afternoon wasn't able to attend but to his surprise it was good that he didn't make it because if he did he could of possibly died. He thought about the tragedy and so instead he came up with the idea of a saftey bar which means that the doors would open from inside even if they were locked. As well the doors have to open out instead of in

In conclusion

The Iroquois theater fire was a very devesting tragedy that occurred but ended up having a positive impact towards the safety in public. This event led towards improvement towards public saftey and laws that makes it safer in these type of events.


  1. Secter, Bob. "The Iroquois Theater fire." N.p., 15 Aug. 2008. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

2. "Fires in History: Iroquois Theater Fire." F.E. Moran Fire Protection. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

3. "Iroquois Theatre Fire." Iroquois Theatre Fire Chicago | Iroquois Theater Fire History. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

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