Atlantic City, NJ Surfside Hotel Fire, Nov 1963
Engulfed In Minutes.
"I'm fearful to say a number did not escape," RAUER said. "It went so quickly. A number of them were mostly elderly persons." The building was engulfed in flames in about five minutes, he said.
Atlantic City Hospital said 22 persons were treated there, two of them admitted.
Of the 22, about eight were firemen and policemen. Also treated were three members of the RAUER family and five persons who escaped from the Surfside, along with others from the area.
"The night watchman smelled the smoke and called me on the switchboard," RAUER said. "My first thought was to get my family out. I woke up my wife; she grabbed a dress, and then we woke up our three sons and my mother. We all jumped through a back window about 15 feet to the ground."
"In another minute or two the whole building would have collapsed on us."
Heard 12 Escaped.
RAUER said he had heard that about 12 of the guests escaped, but that he saw only four of them.
MRS. RAUER, said 30 guests were registered and all were in the building Sunday night, along with the RAUER family of six and the night watchman, PHILIP JOHNSON.
"We couldn't get out the front door. We got out through a window in our living quarters," MRS. RAUER said.
She said her family was separated from the guest quarters by a ballroom. "My son LARRY tried to go through the ballroom but he couldn't because of the fire."