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Anniversary of the Hartford Circus Fire

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Today is the anniversary to the Hartford Circus Fire. It took place in 1944, shortly after D-Day. Not only was America dealing with the loss of soldiers on both fronts, but also here at home. The war directly effected the fire: there were no waterproof materials available for manufacturing tents, so old ones were dragged out and received a nice new coating of parrafin and gasoline to make them waterproof.

If you grew up in Connecticut, you knew someone effected by the fire. I used to work with a nurse that had been a student nurse in 1944 and was on duty the day of the fire. Where my uncle worked they came around asking for blood donors that afternoon.

Also because most adults were tied up in war production, most of those killed or injured were under age 15.

Here is a basic overview:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartford_circus_fire

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How horrible. Terrible loss of life and injury. Hard to imagine the scale.

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A terrible tragedy -as was the Coconut Grove fire in Boston Nov 1942.

Reminder to us all - always look to make sure you know where the exits are.

In the Coconut Grove fire - there was only one revolving door & people could not go through because everyone panicked and jammed it. Other exits were sealed shut. Barry Welansky, the owner, was corrupt and bought off Boston officials, telling the electrician he hire (who had no license) not to worry about it because he was "in with the Mayor". His taxes had "mysteriously" been cut from $18k to $9k. A fire inspector testified that he'd inspected the club 8 days before and "found everything satisfactory", even though the clubs decorations were highly flammable. 492 people died because of the corruption & greed - the "wink wink" of those hired & elected to protect the public.

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