Chicago, IL Victoria Hotel Fire, Dec 1948
5 PERSONS DIE IN HOTEL FIRE IN CHICAGO LOOP.
Chicago, Dec. 12. -- (AP) -- Five persons died and 12 others suffered injuries or burns as a result of a flash fire which raced through the fifth floor of the seven-story Victoria hotel in the loop district early yesterday.
OTTO DAHL, a deputy fire marshal, said quick work by two bell-boys and the recent encasement of the hotel's stairways as a fire prevention measure probably prevented a much worse disaster.
The bell boys, SANDERS DAVIS and RUDOLPH TAYLOR, groped through the dense smoke to sound alarms for the sleeping guests.
The dead are WILLIAM JAMES KEANE, 25, in whose room the fire was discovered about 4:30 a.m.; EUGENE OYLER, 48, and ALLEN McCULLOUGH, 40, all of Chicago; RICHARD W. KLINE, 18, of Xenia, O., and RICHARD L. ULVEN, 18, of Austin, Minn., both sailors stationed at the Great Lakes naval training station.
Three of the dead were trapped in their rooms, one died in the hallway, and KEANE died later in a hospital.
Cause of the blaze, the second hotel fire in two days, was undetermined. Last Friday morning the six-story Hubbard hotel on the near north side was destroyed with damage estimated at more than $100,000. The Victoria fire was extinguished in about an hour with damage estimated at about $10,000.
The hotel, at 334 South Clark street, was built in 1883 and is one of the oldest buildings in the loop district. Fifty of the 202 guests in the 179 rooms were on the fifth floor. Most of them fled down fire escapes.
The most seriously injured was a woman registered at BESSIE WILSON, of nearby LaGrange, Ill. She was still unconscious from shock early today. The others were treated for cuts and shock. None was in critical condition.
Kokomo Tribune Indiana 1948-12-13