Today in History December 7- The Winecoff Hotel, advertised as "absolutely fireproof." went up in flames

December 7 is the 341st day of the year. There are 24 days remaining until the end of the year.
The  Winecoff Hotel in flame

Today's Highlight in history
1946 – A fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, kills 119 people, the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history.

The Winecoff Hotel, advertised in advertisements and on its stationery as "absolutely fireproof." went up in flames on Dec. 7, 1946. The early morning fire claimed the lives of 119 people, including the hotel's owners. It was the deadliest hotel fire in United States history . Winecoff Hotel
The Winecoff Hotel,(now the Ellis Hotel) Located at 176 Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, USA, opened in 1913 as one of the tallest buildings in Atlanta.

The steel-framed structure was built on a small lot measuring 62.75 feet (19.13 m) by 70 feet (21 m), While the hotel's steel structure was for protection against the effects of fire, the hotel's interior finishes were combustible, and the building's exit arrangements consisted of a single stairway serving all fifteen floors.The single stairway, of non-combustible construction, was not enclosed with fire-resistant doors.

Guest rooms extended from the third to the fifteenth floors, with fifteen rooms on a typical floor. Corridors on guest floors were arranged in an H-shape, with two elevators and the upward flights of stairs opening into the cross halls, and opposing downward runs of stairs converging on a single landing from the legs of the H.

The fire's point of origin was on the third floor west hallway, where a mattress and chair had been temporarily placed in the corridor, close to the stairway to the fourth floor. The assumption was that a dropped cigarette may have ignited the mattress or other combustibles in the corridor. The fire was first noticed about 3:15 AM by a bellboy went to the fifth floor to help a guest, However, the first (and only) call to the fire department was made at 3:42 AM by the night manager.

The first engine and ladder companies arrived within thirty seconds of the call. By that time people were already jumping from windows. Fire department ladders could extend only part way up the building, but many guests were rescued in this manner. Ladders were placed horizontally across the alley from an adjoining building, allowing some rescues to be effected.



All of the hotel's occupants above the fire's origin on the third floor were trapped, and the fire's survivors either were rescued from upper-story windows or jumped into nets held by firemen. A number of guests tied bedsheets together and tried to descend. The fire was notable for the number of victims who jumped to their deaths.
The former Winecoff Hotel,
 now the Ellis Hotel

Arnold Hardy, a 24-year-old Georgia Tech graduate student, who captured the fall of Daisy McCumber from the building won the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for Photography,

Out of the 304 guests in the hotel that night, 119 died, about 65 were injured and about 120 were rescued uninjured. The hotel's original owners, the Winecoffs, who lived in an apartment in the hotel, died in the apartment. 32 deaths were among those who jumped, or who fell while trying to descend ropes made of sheets tied together.

Also in the hotel were forty high school students on a State YMCA of Georgia ("Y" Clubs) sponsored trip to Atlanta for a state youth-in-government legislative program, thirty of whom died.The students had mostly been placed two to a room at the back of the hotel next to the alley, where many of the windows had been covered by louvered shutters for privacy. The occupants of the shuttered rooms were killed on every floor above the fifth floor.
The fire, which followed the June 5, 1946 La Salle Hotel fire in Chicago with 61 fatalities, and the June 19, 1946 Canfield Hotel fire in Dubuque, Iowa with 19 fatalities, spurred significant changes in North American building codes, most significantly requiring multiple protected means of egress and self-closing fire-resistive doors for guest rooms in hotels.

The building is now the Ellis Hotel, which stands at the corner of Peachtree and Ellis streets.
Wikipedia



World Events

1732 – The Royal Opera House opens at Covent Garden, London, England.
1869 – American outlaw Jesse James commits his first confirmed bank robbery in Gallatin, Missouri.
1917 – World War I: The United States declares war on Austria-Hungary.
1972 – Imelda Marcos survives an assassination attempt using a bolo knife against her.
1971 – Pakistan President Yahya Khan announces the formation of a coalition government with Nurul Amin as Prime Minister and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as Deputy Prime Minister.
1972 – Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, is launched. The crew takes the photograph known as The Blue Marble as they leave the Earth.
1982 – In Texas, Charles Brooks, Jr., becomes the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the United States.
1983 – An Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 collides with an Aviaco DC-9 in dense fog while the two airliners are taxiing down the runway at Madrid–Barajas Airport, killing 93 people.
1987 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashes near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shoots his ex-boss traveling on the flight, then shoots both pilots and himself.
1988 – Spitak Earthquake: In Armenia an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale kills more than 25,000, injures 30,000 and leaves 500,000 homeless out of a population of 3,500,000.
1988 – Yasser Arafat recognizes the right of Israel to exist.
1993 – The Long Island Rail Road massacre: Passenger Colin Ferguson murders six people and injures 19 others on the LIRR in Nassau County, New York.
1995 – The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis during Mission STS-34.
1999 – A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.: The Recording Industry Association of America sues the peer-to-peer file-sharing service Napster, alleging copyright infringement.
2005 – Rigoberto Alpizar, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 924 who allegedly claimed to have a bomb, is shot and killed by a team of U.S. federal air marshals at Miami International Airport.
2006 – A tornado strikes Kensal Green, North West London, seriously damaging about 150 properties.
2007 – The Hebei Spirit oil spill begins in South Korea after a crane barge that had broken free from a tug collides with the Very Large Crude Carrier, Hebei Spirit.

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