#TBT From The NFPA Archives: The Cocoanut Grove Fire

Blog Post created by jrodowicz Employee on Nov 29, 2018

On November 28, 1942, a fire broke out in Boston's popular Cocoanut Grove Nightclub. 492 lives were lost due to the events that night. 200 people died within feet of the jammed revolving doors.


From Volunteer Firemenv. 10, no. 1 (January 1943): 
"The radios and newspapers reported the facts apparently responsible for the loss of life: (1) inadequate and locked exits, (2) quick burning decorations...The tragedy started when fire broke out in the basement in a cocktail lounge. The blaze is said to have been first noticed in an imitation palm tree after a bus boy struck a match for a light while replacing an electric bulb near the ceiling. However, other testimony leads to the question whether defective wiring may have had something to do with the start of the fire, or whether there may have been some other unexplained factor."
For more information regarding this and other moments in fire history, please feel free to reach out to the NFPA Research Library & Archives.
The NFPA Archives houses all of NFPA's publications, both current and historic.
Library staff are available to answer research questions from members and the general public.