Chicago, IL Reliance Hotel Fire, Dec 1953
FIVE FIREMEN, TENANT DIE IN CHICAGO FIRE.
11 OTHERS TRAPPED UNDER BRICK, TIMBER SAVED AT HOTEL BLAZE.
Chicago (UP) - Authorities today hunted for clues of arson in the ruins of skid row Reliance Hotel where five firemen and a deranged tenant died.
Coroner Walter McCarron called an inquest and police and fire investigators began a search for signs the fire was set by the dead tenant, who left a madman's note.
The hotel collapsed on about 30 firemen early Thursday after they had extinguished the blaze and were coiling their hoses. A total of 24 persons were injured.
Working in near zero cold with numbed, bloody hands, firemen dug for 12 hours to reach sixteen buddies trapped under the bricks and timber.
They were spurred on by the voices of some of the 11 trapped men who were pulled out alive.
Some of the living men lay trapped in the cold for as long as eight hours.
All of the trapped men who were removed alive were expected to live.
The dead tenant, JOHN TYBOR, who was removed from the 75-year old hotel before the building collapsed, had been released from Manteno State Hospital for the Insane only 24 hours before the fire.
A note found on his body said, in part: "I am really crazy. I killed only 15 people only. I also set fire to 12 apartment buildings, not to mention the girls I raped ..."
His body was found in the basement and it was believed possible the fire started there.
The Daily Republican Monongahela Pennsylvania 1953-12-18