Glenwood Springs, CO Hotel Fire, Dec 1945
OLD GLENWOOD SPRINGS HOTEL DESTROYED BY FIRE DURING NIGHT; SEARCHERS PROBE FOR BODIES OF POSSIBLE VICTIMS.
Glenwood Springs, Colo., Dec. 14. -- (AP) -- A sudden, savage fire raged through the old Glenwood hotel early this morning and officers feared that a search of its smoldering ruins would yield the bodies of several guests trapped in the upper floors.
Police Chief CHARLES WELLS said there may be "possibly 10 to 15 bodies" in the wreckage. Other estimates of the death toll were higher but no definite check was possible in the excitement that accompanied the spectacular blaze.
Starting in a department store on the ground floor, the fire spread so swiftly the hotel was a mass of flames before Manager CHARLES McCARTHY could give the alarm to his guests.
Five persons leaped from third floor windows into firemen's nets and J. E. SAMUELSON, a newspaper editor, said "others were yelling up there." Those who leaped were taken to a hospital across the street for treatment of injuries.
Fire crews attacked the tottering walls of the hotel on three sides, clearing the way for a party that stood by to search the ruins for the bodies of possible victims. The front wall had collapsed into the Main street of this town of 3,000 population.
A guest in the four-story brick structure, built in 1886, complained about midnight that he smelled smoke.
McCARTHY said he searched the hotel and finally looked over a transom into the department store and saw a fire. Almost immediately, he said, the building was an inferno and guests on the upper floors were trapped.
He ran up as far as the second floor and "yelled at the people to get out" but could go no higher. The hotel register burned, preventing an immediate check on the guests.
SAMUELSON said the hotel, a prominent stopping place in Colorado's early days, had from 50 to 75 rooms and was fully occupied.
Firemen fought the blaze in near-zero weather. Almost the entire population of the town turned out but the terrific heat kept them a half-block away from the site.
Independent Record Helena Montana 1945-12-14
FOUR ARE DEAD IN HOTEL FIRE.
OTHER BODIES MAY BE IN DEBRIS.
By Associated Press.
Glenwood Springs, Dec. 16. -- A weakened wall four stories high, which threatened to topple into the tons of debris in the fire wrecked Glenwood Hotel Saturday halted the search for more victims of Friday's blaze.
Meanwhile two bodies recovered late Saturday from the wreckage were identified as CHARLES MARSHALL of Denver and C. C. BROWN of Eagle, Col.
Still listed as missing is CHARLES WILLIAMS, 48, a cook and an unidentified transient. Officials fear additional bodies also may be in the debris.
The fire, which broke out early Friday morning, has been attributed to an overheated furnace by Fire Chief JOE BLANCO, and Police Chief CHARLES WELLS estimated the loss at between $200,000 and $300,000.
San Antonio Express Texas 1945-12-17