Iroquois Theater Fire Melody xiong

Research Question

How did the fire start and did anything change after it?

The Iroquois Theater Fire

On December 30th, 1903, there was a fire. The Iroquois Theater Fire was one of the deadliest fire in the United States history. It killed more than 600 people on this day. So how did the deadliest fire start?

During the performance by Eddie Foy with a full house watching, the stage manger went to watch the play with the audience. While the others, went out to go get a drink. Without anyone knowing, only the spotlight director noticed that there was a spark that lighted the fire. The backstage was cluttered with oily rages and full-wooden stage props. By the time they were aware, the workers were already trying to calm down the fire, while Eddie tried to calm down the audience. They pulled down the curtains to confine the fire, but it turns out the curtain was made from paper, not helping the situation, only making it worse. Quickly, a shot of air caused a fireball to roar through the backstage.

Forgetting to open the locked emergency doors, the teenagers quickly left the theater, leaving behind about 2,000 people. The doors that were opened, were only about four feet above the sidewalk that caused the the processed to be slow. There were no ladders or fire escapes to help them out of the building. Some people took thier chance and jumped off. The bodies of the people that did die, were seated in the balconies. People were pulled out alive through the bodies of the dead that were six-feet deep.

After that dreadful day, George Williams was charged with misfeasance. The theater owner was convicted to manslaughter due to poor safety of the people. Actually the only person who was charged was a saloon owner who robbed the people who died.

In conclusion, the Iroquois Theater Fire was the most deadliest fire in the United States history. After the fire, the mayor shut down all the theaters for six weeks. It killed over six hundred people and still counting. Since the fire they've made new regulations such as exit signs must always on, exit doors must push open, not pull in, etc.

The Iroquois Theater Fire

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