Lake Placid, NY Hotel Marcy Fire, Dec 1966


Special to The Post-Standard.
Lake Placid -- A search of ice-sheathed debris will begin Thursday in an effort to recover the bodies of five men missing and presumed dead after a fire Wednesday which destroyed a wing of Hotel Marcy.
The missing men, all employes of the famed resort hotel, were identified by Police Chief Charles Prasse as:
MILTON ANINGER, about 50, of Lake Placid.
CLYDE HOISINGTON, 50, of Lake Placid.
MICHAEL GOTHWIN, 19, of the Bronx.
JAMES GRAY, 62, Montreal, Canada.
MICHAEL GUDZ, 67, Montreal, Canada.
The body of one of the men hung over a portion of the smoldering ruins Wednesday. Recovery efforts were futile and he remained unidentified.
Attempts to extricate the body and a search for the others was halted by mid-evening Wednesday
because a police department spokesman said
"the area is frozen over and too trecherous."
He explained that water used to battle the fire had frozen. In addition, he said, "so much debris cluttered the area that it was dangerous for volunteers to walk around in."
The fire which broke out early Wednesday and caused an estimated $500,000 damage, destroyed an entire three-story wing attached to the six-story main structure.
The wing contained a kitchen, dining room, swimming pool, suana baths, employes' quarters and some guest units.
Cause of the blaze which was discovered about 3 a.m. was unknown, police said.
Five persons, including owner JACK DAVIS, 52, were injured.
DAVIS, who operates the Gotham Hotel in New York City, collapsed while helping police and other employes alert the guests. He was reported
in fair condition at Placid Memorial Hospital.
The hospital identified the injured, in addition to DAVIS, as:
HENRY JULICHER, 19, of Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
WITOLD SOCHAJ, 62, of New York City.
RUDOLPH BURRY, about 60, of Hoboken, N.J.
MISS LISA KOEBRICK, 19, of Plattsburgh.
BURRY was being treated for burns on his hands.
The others were hospitalized because of smoke inhalation.
All 475 guests of the hotel, at Lake Placid for the holiday week, escaped unharmed with little or no loss of personal belongings. During Wednesday afternoon, guests of the hotel could be seen loading their cars with luggage on the ice covered main street or preparing to take buses elsewhere.
Smoke and water damage was heavy.
The Lake Placid fire department was called to the hotel at 3:15 and quickly placed calls to the Wilmington and Saranac Lake fire departments for assistance. The temperature hit an overnight low of -11 degrees and restaurants sent coffee and food to the firefighters.
Firemen said that the fire was under contol at about 7 o'clock, but in late afternoon two streams of water were being played into the mass of blackened wood, metal and tangled mass of kitchen and dining room utensils, smashed bedsteads and other equipment.
Water was pumped to the fire scene from frozen Mirror Lake across Main Street from the hotel. A portion of the main building was damaged by fire, but a thick wall between the three-story unit and the six story main building saved the main hotel from destruction.
The fire knocked out telephone lines along Main Street when fire burned through the cable, and telephone workers were busy all day repairing the damage.
The three-story building was the former Northlands
Hotel and about 70 years old. It had recently been renovated by DAVIS in 1961 when the swimming pool was installed.

The Post-Standard Syracuse New York 1966-12-29