Atlantic City, NJ Surfside Hotel Fire, Nov 1963
JOHNSON got out uninjured.
Police said at least five of the 30 guests at the Surfside got out of the building.
The two persons admitted to the hospital were identified as ANNA SHALIT, 63, of Morristown, suffering from extensive burns, and GEORGE DZWONAR, 46, of Atlantic City, who was reportedly having trouble breathing.
A heavy wind from the ocean fanned the flames from the Surfside to seven other buildings on either side of it along Maryland avenue, which intersects the boardwalk. Three more buildings on Virginia avenue behind the burningones also caught fire but were quickly extinguished.
Six workmen in one of the hotels escaped to safety when the owner of the building heard the fire engines and roused them from sleep. They had been staying at the building while making renovations.
LOUIS LEVINE, an artist who lived across the street from the Surfside said he ran to the hotel and heard "screaming death wails. I panicked because the flames were too bright and I couldn't go in."
The fire is about three fourths of a mile north of Convention Hall where the Democratic National convention will be held next August.
The Surfside was the only hotel or rooming house that had guests, according to Police Sgt. JAMES MULLEN, one of the first men on the scene. The others were closed for the winter.
All the buildings except the apartment house were old style wooden structures between five and seven stories tall.
MULLEN and Police Capt. JAMES TOOMEY and Patrolman JACK GODOWSKY were responding to a routine trouble call at the Surfside when they discovered the fire.
"There was no sign of anything" as they opened the front door and entered, TOONEY said.
"Then all of a sudden the place went up," he said.
The Troy Record New York 1963-11-19