St. Paul, MN Carleton Hotel Fire, Jan 1966



St. Paul, Minn. (AP) -- Three women, one of them pregnant, ran screaming from the building, their clothing afire, as firemen arrived at the old Carleton Hotel in St. Paul early Tuursday to fight flames that took nine lives and injured 17 persons.
Some of the injured were badly hurt in leaps from second and third-floor windows. One man suffered a broken back. Both legs and feet of another man were fractured.
"It was a screaming mass when we got there," said Asst. Fire Chief WILLIAM MAURER. He said people were shrieking from windows when firemen arrived.
Occupants Jump.
Some terror-stricken occupants, trapped on upper floors by smoke-filled hallways, jumped as firemen were putting up rescue ladders in the zero cold.
"We heard them fall as we were moving ladders to the building," said Dist. Chief CLARENCE FREIERMUTH.
The three women, met by firemen as they dashed from the building were doused with water from a hoseline to extinguish their flaming clothes. None was seriously hurt.
Among the dead were six men, and three women. Two bodies were recovered quickly, the others after firemen were able to enter the ruins.
RAY UMBRELT, 42, a survivor, said the smoke apparently woke him. "I grabbed the door knob and it was hot. I grabbed a shirt and shoes and broke a window and just then the fire ladder came up." Firemen helped him to safety.
"Thanks to God I'm here," said CORA McCARROLL, 76, one of several elderly among the 51 occupants of the hotel. She said firemen pounded on her door to awaken her and help her out of the building.
Return To Room.
JACOB REYER, 50, who with his wife, VIOLET, 41, occupied a second-floor room, said they stepped out on a fire escape, but returned to their room when they saw flames shoot from windows on the floor above.
As they dashed into the hall, REYER said, a screaming woman, her clothing on fire, came rolling down the stairway. Fire from the woman ignited MRS. REYER'S coat, but REYER beat out the flames and they ran to the street. The REYERS were hospitalized with smoke inhalation. It was not known whether the flaming woman was one of the dead.

The Independent Long Beach California 1966-01-07