Danger from fire was far from the minds of some 7000 happy patrons, attending "the greatest show on earth" at the city-owned circus grounds on the outskirts of Hartford, Connecticut, on the hot sunny afternoon of July 6, 1944. About twenty minutes after the matinee started a "flash fire" occurred which caused fatal injuries to 163 persons, mostly women and children. Sixty-three of the dead were children under 15 years of age. Well over 200 other patrons were confined to hospitals as a result of burns and some 50 or 60 circus employees were treated by their own physician. Some of the critically injured patrons may yet succumb. NFPA members can download the investigation report for free.
We want to hear from you! It's easy to comment on posts: just look for the login link above to login or register for you free account on Xchange. Xchange is more than a blog; it's an online community that connects you with peers worldwide and directly with NFPA staff. Get involved today!