Peoria, IL Hotel Fire, Feb 1963

Peoria ILL Hotel Mayer fire.jpg


Peoria, Ill. (UPI) -- A half-million dollar fire destroyed the 70-year-old Mayer hotel in downtown Peoria Thursday killing at least two persons and injuring eight others.

Fire Chief LESTER MENACE, who made the damage estimate, said the blaze apparently broke out on the top floor of the five-story building where the badly charred bodies of the two victims were found.

Authorities tentatively identified the two victims as PORTER RYBURN and CHESTER MILLER, both about 76. One of the injured persons was in critical condition.

Six persons were taken to Methodist hospital, and two, including critically injured OTIS MILLER, were taken to St. Francis hospital. All were under treatment for burns and smoke inhalation, hospital officials said.

The hotel was inhabited mainly by elderly persons, MENACE said.

A woman was prevented from leaping from the top floor by firemen who broke through to where she was trapped and rescued her, he said.

Wisconsin State Journal Madison 1963-02-15