Chicago, IL Center Hotel Fire, Apr 1938

SEVEN PERISH IN CHICAGO BLAZE.

SLEEPING VICTIMS TRAPPED BY FIRE.

FLAMES ENGULF CHICAGO LODGING HOUSE BEFORE ALARM IS SPREAD; FLAMES AND SUFFOCATION TAKE TOLL OF LIVES; ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY PERSONS DRIVEN INTO STREET BY FIRE AND SMOKE.

Chicago, April 6 -- (UP) -- Trapped as they slept, seven men perished early today when fire swept through the upper floors of a low rate men's hotel in an impoverished section, ten blocks west of the
"loop" district.
Attendants at the county morgue said the men suffocated. Two other occupants of the hotel suffered serious burns. One was not expected to live.
The fire started on the third floor of the Center hotel, located between two other small hotels, the West End and Venus, in a four-story frame building.
The blaze was confined to the third and fourth floors of the Center, but heavy smoke drove 150 residents of the hotels in the street. A snowstorm
added to their hardship.
Ten men who were overcome by smoke were carried down ladders and thirteen others assisted down a fire escape. Some of the victims were in such serious condition that firemen worked over them with oxygen tanks in the first floor of the building.
Many of those in the hotel were aged. One of the victims, about 80, was found slumped near the window of his fourth floor room, apparently having struggled from his bed before he collapsed.
The bodies of the other victims were found in their beds and in the halls. Only three were identified.
They were:
EDMUND HAAS, 40.
HENRY DERNDT, 45.
JOSEPH BENTO, 64.
The injured were:
FELIX DUKUS, 61.
FRANK SMIALEK.
SMIALEK was burned almost beyond recognition. Physicians said he was near death.
Fire Marshal Michael Corrigan said he would begin an immediate investigation to determine the cause of the fire. He theorized that one of the hotel residents fell asleep with a lighted cigaret in his hand. He said property damage would approximate $15,000.

Logansport Pharos-Tribune Indiana 1938-04-07