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The Great Chicago Theater Disaster: The…
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The Great Chicago Theater Disaster: The Complete Story Told By the… (1904)

by Marshall Everett

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The Great Chicago Theater Disaster by Marshall Everett, the Well Known Editor and Descriptive Writer; The Complete Story Told by the Survivors; Presenting a Vivid Picture, both by Pen and Camera, of One of the Greatest Fire Horrors of Modern Times. Embracing a Flash-Light Sketch of the Holocaust, Detailed Narratives by Participants in the Horror, Heroic Work of Rescuers, Reports of the Building Experts as to the Responsibility for the Wholesale Slaughter of Women and Children, Memorable Fires of the Past, etc., etc. Profusely Illustrated with Views of the Scene of Death Before, During and After the Fire
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With over 600 fatalities, the Iroquois Theater fire of December 30, 1903 remains the largest loss of life for any public assembly fire in the US, exceeded only by the losses in the World Trade Center on 09/11/2001. The theater was new and was promoted as being "absolutely fireproof". A piece of scenery caught fire, the asbestos curtain failed to close, and the flames were out of control within minutes. Exits were locked, lights went out, and the audience panicked.

What this book lacks in quality of writing, it makes up in the immediacy of the story.

A number of websites have informative background material.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), NFPA Journal, July-August 1995, A Tragedy Remembered.
Wikipedia article
The Eastland Memorial Society maintains a tribute site with photo gallery.
Weird & Haunted Chicago: The Show Did Not Go On
Interesting article on this fire in Failure magazine.
  oregonobsessionz | Feb 19, 2007 |
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No disaster, by flood, volcano, wreck or convulsion of nature has in recent times aroused such horror as swept over the civilized world when on December 30, 1903, a death-dealing blast of flame hurtled through the packed auditorium of the Iroquois theater, Chicago, causing the loss of nearly 600 lives of men, women and children, and injuries to unknown scores.
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