At 2215 hrs, on November 28, 1942, fire alarm Headquarters from Box 1514, situated at Stuart and Carver streets, received an alarm. When the responding apparatus arrived they found a small car fire at the corner of Stuart Street and Broadway. After the fire was extinguished the firefighters were about to return to quarters when their attention was called to smoke emanating from the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub a few doors away. Upon their arrival at the entrance of the Broadway lounge on Broadway they encountered numerous people leaving the premises amidst the cries of “fire.” The chief in charge immediately ordered that a third alarm be sounded from Alarm Box 1521 which the alarm was received by fire alarm headquarters at 2223 hrs. A civilian sent an alarm that was received at 2220 by fire alarm headquarters. As soon as the chief in charge realized that the immediate problem was one of rescue he ordered that a fourth alarm (received at 2224) and a fifth alarm (received at 1102) be sent.
The apparatus responding was comprised of 25 engine companies, 5 ladder companies, 1 water tower company, 1 rescue company and various other apparatus. 18 hose steams for cooling purposes and three ladders were utilized (located at Piedmont, Broadway, and Shawmut for venting operations).
The fire lasted only 12-14 minutes and killed 492 and injured 164, the reason for this is the building construction, occupancy, and interior design of the club. For better understanding the structure will be described in great detail.
... 69-76) has involved the respective teams within Helm fire Service Company assisting in identifying and finding the real organizational problems ... legislative arrangements (Robert 2009, p.297–299). The fire service company has undergone changes since the beginning of this year ... has been the key element of consideration. Helm fire and Rescue Company has its mission as being effectively saving property, ...
Caricature Bar Section wooden bar 48 feet long faced with artificial leather occupied this area of the first-class one-story structure. Bar stools were metal covered with the same material. On the piedmont street side of the room was another bar described as a service bar. The ceiling was made of plasterboard and the walls were of Masonite cover with artificial leather. The floor was linoleum on wood.
A large exhaust fan expelled air into a vacant area adjoining the building. Means of egress from this part of the structure were by means of the main foyer at one end, and on the main dining room side, and at the other end of the bar through the passageway leading to the Broadway Lounge. A closed balustrade about 40″ high, separated the Caricature Bar area from the main dining room. Four casement windows behind the service bar, against the Piedmont Street wall, were not used as a means of egress until the firemen opened them.
The windows were found to be in normal operational condition. Kitchen and Heating Plant The kitchen, located in the basement, approximately 34 feet by 63 feet in size adjoined the Melody Lounge on the north side (Shawmut Street).
It obviously contained the normal kitchen items. It was an unfinished room with a concrete floor, walls and ceiling. Exits were by means of a stairway to the main dining room and by the door into the passageway, and into the adjoining room occupied by the heating plant, which had an exit to Shawmut Street, called the service door.
The heating plant was contained in a room approx. 16 feet by 40 feet in size, on the Shawmut Street Side. It adjoined the kitchen and it contents consisted of a furnace, fired by fuel oil from two 275-gallon storage tanks. Another section of the basement (on the Piedmont Street side) adjoined the kitchen and the Melody Lounge, and was used as a storage vault. Dressing Rooms In the second-class structure (no. 4-6 Shawmut Street), adjoining the first class structure (located between the main dining room and the Broadway Lounge) on the second and third floors, were located the dressing rooms used by entertainers employed at the Cocoanut Grove Club.
... East Africa. Standing about nine feet in the air, swaying from side to side, like a redwood timber tree ... colored sequenced embedded velvet shirt. If being nine feet off the ground was not enough, he was ... from forehead the neckline and approximately an extra foot soaring from him crown. Jim the clown could ... gigantic fire engine red shoes on his tiny feet. He was very different in various ways. His ...
Entrance to these rooms was from a door leading from the main dining room near the orchestra platform (on the Shawmut Street side), or from the Shawmut Street by a door at the foot of the stairway to the second and third floors. The dressing rooms had ordinary plaster walls, wooden floors and plaster ceilings common to dwelling houses. Two or three rooms on each floor had been combined into one large room for use by groups of entertainers. Furniture consisted of wooden chairs, make-up tables and lockers. Egress was by means of a stairway to the street or from the second floor through a window onto a roof.
The Broadway Lounge This room was about 40 feet by 40 feet. It had been opened to the public only recently and was located on the east end of the premises on the first floor of a second-class building consisting of three stories, and an attic (59 Broadway).
The second floor of this building contained motors and a locker room for employees was on the third floor. The public only had access to the first floor. Connection with the first class structure, containing the main dining room, was by means of a passageway.
The Broadway Lounge contained a men’s and women’s washrooms, bar, coatroom, tables and chairs. The walls were paneled with artificial leather attached on plywood. The ceiling was of soundproof construction and fluorescent lights attached to this surface. The floor was wood covered by carpet. Contract for a ventilating system was signed in September or October 1942 calling for a supply and exhaust system. Exits from this room were by the entrance on Broadway and by the passageway in the rear of the room leading to the main dining room.
Windows on the Broadway side were of fixed glass block construction. The Main Dining Room The main dining room was on the north side of the first class structure (Shawmut Street side).
It occupied a space of about 60 feet by 60 feet in dimensions. On the Shawmut Street side a tile canopy extended in from the outside wall about 8 feet, and the floor under this canopy covered portion was raised about 6 inches above the main floor level. On the opposite side of the room was a similar terrace backing up to the Caricature Bar area.
... sizes of shoes, old dolls shelved high above the floor, and a few games (most are either downstairs or ... Although my sister is a frequent violator of my room, walking in unannounced and borrowing things without asking, I ... to think that if I did not lay my feet flat on top of the bed, wolves would come ... around me, I feel safe. Three dressers line the wall opposite my bed. Two have shelf units above them, ...
At the west end of the room there was a raised terrace about 32 feet wide, 12 feet deep and 2 feet above the main floor level. An iron railing about 36 inches high surrounded the front portion of this terrace. On the east side of the room (nearest Broadway) was an orchestra platform 20 feet wide, 10-15 feet deep, and 4 feet high from the main floor. The center of the room was used as a dance floor and was surrounded on the edges by tables and chairs. Entrance to the room was from the foyer at the point where the Caricature Bar ended on the west side. A service stair for waiters went down to the basement kitchen area, at the west end of the room near the Shawmut Street wall.
Adjoining the orchestra platform towards the Shawmut Street wall was a door leading to a control room for electrical switches, to a stairway to the basement, and to another door, which led out to Shawmut Street (this door was locked the night of the fire), and to a dressing room. Behind the orchestra platform and the control room was the above-mentioned dressing room, a telephone booth, and a stairway up to the second floor of the adjoining second class building in which they were located. The roof over the main dining area was an automatic rolling device, which was opened up usually in the summertime, the ceiling however was covered in fabric from wall to wall. The orchestra platform was lined also with fabric from wall to wall and across the ceiling, and a heavy fabric draw curtain was made to close off the front of the stage. The Shawmut Street side walls were covered with veneer concealing three plate glass windows. The dance floor was wood on concrete.
Lighting fixtures consisted of bulbs in cocoanut shells located on six paper palm trees in this room. Ventilation fans were located over the exit door in the center of the Shawmut Street wall, and at the head of the stairs to the kitchen, near the terrace at the west end of the room. There were four exits from the main dining room: one by means of a door in the center of the Shawmut street wall: another by the stairs (used by the waiters) to the kitchen: another by a door near the orchestra platform into the control room to another door to Shawmut Street, or optionally downstairs to the part of the basement occupied by the heating plant: by the main entrance to the foyer, and another through the passageway near the orchestra platform to the Broadway Lounge.
... and drop down to the platform below.Pick the lock to the door and enter the room. Walk out onto the ... left. Look under the odd wall hanging at the back of the room. Open the door to the left (the ... and jump over the wall onto the low roof below. From here, drop down to the streets, and the mission ... the wall. Turn right and go through the passage here. Keep moving forward until you come to the street sign ...