Worcester, MA Hotel Pleasant Fire, June 1957



Worcester, Mass. (AP) - Three persons were killed and eight others were seriously injured early today in a fire that swept the five-store wood and brick Hotel Pleasant.
At least a dozen others were less seriously injured and were released after treatment at City Hospital.

Dead Identified.
Hospital Supt. Theodore Austin said the three dead had been identified by a representative of the hotel as:
Five of the eight persons held at the hospital were reported in
"very critical condition."
More than a dozen persons were rescued from the flaming fourth and fifth floors by fire fighters, who hastily set up ladders and floodlights on two sides of the hotel.
Witnesses said the screams of some of the men and women trapped at windows on the upper floors could be heard for more than two blocks in the predawn darkness.

Many Hysterical.
Many were still in hysterical condition as they were carried to ambulances and police cruisers for transfer to the hospital or to the Belmont Home, a city institution where those who were not injured were taken for the remainder of the night.
The 60-room hotel, an aged structure two blocks from the center of Worcester, caters to permanent guests rather than transients. Many of them are middle-aged or older.
Witnesses said flames and smoke appeared to be pouring from most of the hotel's windows within minutes after the first alarm was sounded shortly after 3 a.m.
MRS. MARTHA CARLSON, 65, an upper story guest rescued by firefighters, said it was impossible to see in the hotel's corridors because of the density of the smoke.

Invalid Rescued.
Another of those rescued was MRS. ANNIE WELCH, 80, an invalid who was carried out in a wheel chair.
One man was seen leaning over a window ledge as if ready to jump when fire fighters scrambled up a ladder and reached him just in time.
The multiple alarm brought 16 fire companies to the scene and attracted hundreds of persons, many in their nightclothes.
The origin of the fire could not be determined immediately.
The two upper floors were said to be a total loss with extensive damage reported on the lower floors.

Lubbock Evening Journal Texas 1957-06-03