Chicago, IL Tenement Fire, Sep 1935
EIGHT DEAD IN TENEMENT FIRE.
OWNER OF GROCERY ON FIRST FLOOR OF BUILDING HELD FOR QUESTIONING.
Chicago, Sept. 30. -- (AP) -- Eight persons, four of them the children of one family, were killed today in a fire and explosion which gutted a three story tenement building on the west side. Eight others were injured.
The four victims in one family were:
DANIEL and PASQUELINA CAPPOLA, 10 year old twins.
Their Brothers, PHILIP, 4, and RALPH, 12.
FRANK VITALE, owner of a grocery on the first floor of the building, was taken to the Maxwell street police station to be questioned concerning the blaze by Fire Attorney THOMAS J. SHEENAN and Police Capt. JOHN NORTON.
A basement explosion which preceded the fire blew out the northwest corner of the structure, blew out all the windows and weakened the floors and ceilings. Flames then swept through the interior of the building, trapping the 20 sleeping occupants of the building.
Mason City Globe-Gazette Iowa 1935-09-30
ARSON IS ADMITTED BY CHICAGO GROCER.
LIVES OF TEN LOST IN BLAZE.
FIREBUG ADMITS BEING PROMISED $100 FOR SETTING FIRE TO TENEMENT BUILDING.
Chicago, Oct. 1. (UP) -- FRANK VITALI, a grocery store owner, confessed today, police said, that he hired a friend to set a tenement building fire in which 10 persons lost their lives.
The alleged firebug, JOSEPH DICHIARA, admitted that he was promised $100 for starting the fire in VITALI'S grocery store which occupied the first floor of the three story building, police said.
A plot to collect $3,000 insurance on VITALI'S property was said to have prompted the fire.
Five children, three women and two men suffered fatal burns in the fire which followed an explosion at midnight Sunday. The latest victims who died last night were FRANK CAPPOLA, 45, and his daughter, PHILOMENA, 8. Four other CAPPOLA children also perished.
Police quoted VITALI as saying he planned the fire because "I was losing money every day." His nephew, JOSEPH VITALI, also was involved.
According to the confession, DICHIARA at first insisted upon payment of the $100 before starting the fire but after a long conference with the two VITALI'S Sunday agreed to collect his money after the insurance was paid.
Police said DICHIARA spread naphtha from three five-gallon cans around the interior of the store, struck a match and fled. The explosion and flames trapped men, women and children in their living quarters on the second and third floors of the building. Several were injured when they leaped from the upper floors.
Seven other victims of the fire still are in serious condition.
The Piqua Daily Call Ohio 1935-10-01