Amarillo, TX Tourist Hotel Fire, May 1929

FIVE DEAD IN AMARILLO FIRE.

SCORE ARE HURT WHEN OLD HOTEL IS DESTROYED IN EARLY MORNING BLAZE.

ALL AVENUES OF ESCAPE ARE CUT OFF AND MANY ARE FORCED TO LEAP FROM THIRD STORY WINDOWS.

(By The Associated Press.)
Amarillo, May 11. -- Trapped by flames which destroyed the Tourist hotel here early today, five men were burned to death, or killed when they jumped to the pavement from third story windows. Three of the victims were burned to death and two killed when they leaped. At least a score were injured, three seriously.
The dead:
PETER KEARNS, Pine, Colo.
RAYMOND COZART, Detroit, Texas.
HOYT CROWE, Tulia, Texas.
J. P. PURDIAN, or PERDIAN, Amarillo.
An Unidentified Man.
Guests fought their way to safety through scenes of the wildest confusion, screams punctuating the roar of the flames as they swept through the ancient structure, oneof the oldest buildings in the business district. Many actually made their way to safety through the flames, while others, blocked from ordinary exits by the fire escaped through windows.

Several Missing.
Although firemen continued to rake the ruins, no other bodies had been found. Neither had numerous hotel guests been accounted for.
The most severely injured was a woman, MISS BIRDIE RHODES, operator of the hotel, a 25-year-old wooden Amarillo landmark. MISS RHODES was caught in her room on the third floor, screamed to attract the attention of rescuers, and, failing in that, she leaped to the pavement below.
The fire was discovered about 3:30 a.m., and nearly every avenue of escape was cut immediately by dense smoke and flames. The only fire escape, a frail wooden and iron structure, was beyond the reach of most of the victims. Guests who escaped said the fire ate its way through the building as though it was paper.
Many thrilling escapes were effected, half-clad guests jumping from windows and ledges. The most thorough was that of H. C. WILSON, aged oil worker, who packed his suitcase, lowered it to the ground with a rope and then slid down the rope to safety. His hands were burned.

Boys Slide Down Pipe.
Two Chickasha, Okla., youths, E. P. WALLACE and J. R. WILLIAMS, cut off from the fire escape, worked their way out on a ledge until they reached a gutter, down which they slid to the ground.
M. J. GEOHEGAN, Amarillo, who made his way down the fire escape, said that as he passed the second floor the screams of men and women could be heard above the roar of the fire. He attempted to force in the locked door and was severely cut about the hands and arms.
The other injured were:
C. H. WEICHEL, Gainesville, Texas.
R. BARNHART, Elk City, Okla.
JACOB DOLLAR, Dallas.
SAM SCOTT, Amarillo.
FRED ROGERS, blind manager of the hotel.
The origin of the fire had not been ascertained definitely, no efforts were made by officials to estimate the property loss until the loss of life had been checked.

Abilene Morning Reporter-News Texas 1929-05-12