The Hotel Vendome was the height of Gilded-Age opulence in Boston, but on June 17, 1972, it was the scene of a fire and partial building collapse that killed nine firefighters and injured eight—one of the worst losses ever suffered by the Boston Fire Department.
The “Looking Back” article in the new January/February issue of NFPA Journal takes a detailed look at this tragedy, including what led to the fire, and the subsequent building collapse that killed the firefighters.
“The collapse trapped 17 firefighters in a pile of debris nearly two stories high,” Mary Elizabeth Woodruff, manager of library in information resources at NFPA, writes in the article. “In the first hour, four firefighters were rescued, and eventually four more were freed from the rubble. Firefighters worked through the night to recover the bodies of the nine remaining men who died in the collapse.”
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