Coconut Grove Fire

1382 words 6 pages
Cocoanut Grove
The Cocoanut Grove was a restaurant and supper club located in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. The building was built in 1927 and was located near Park Square. The Grove, as it was called, had been very popular during the late 1920’s, but had come across hard times during the 1930’s. In the early years of World War II the restaurant became very popular again. In 1942, The Grove was the popular place to be and where everyone liked to hang out. The building was a single-story structure with a basement below. A bar, called the Melody Lounge, occupied the basement as well as the kitchen, freezers, and storage areas. Located on the first floor was a large dining room, a ballroom with a bandstand, and several bar areas separate
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Many of the guests were able to escape under their own power only to collapse later in the street. Getting inside the building was almost as difficult for emergency personnel as getting out of the building was for the victims. Many of the patrons escaped by following employees through the back corridors of the building, while others took shelter in the large refrigerators and meat lockers. Some others were able to locate several hidden exit doors in the dining room, but due to the intense heat and toxic gases as well as the speed at which the fire spread many of the guests inside the Grove never had a chance at survival. Some patrons located an exit door in the newly-opened “New Lounge”, which was unlicensed. But much to their dismay the door was installed in an inward-swinging fashion which became shut following the rush of panicked people crowding the door attempting to exit. Some employees were able to use their knowledge of the building to locate windows to escape through. Due to the sheer number of injured, victims of the blaze where taken mostly to two hospitals, Boston City Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Other area hospitals did receive some injured but not in the numbers that BCH and MGH took in. Treating burns and internal injuries on such a large scale forced medical personnel to use methods of care that had just been developed. Some had been tested and some had not. The first recorded use of penicillin to

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