St. Hyacinthe, QB College Of The Sacred Heart Fire, Jan 1938
21 PERISH IN FIRE AT A COLLEGE.
AT LEAST 11 OTHERS HURT ESCAPING FROM FLAMES AT CANADIAN CATHOLIC SCHOOL.
ONLY ONE VICTIM IDENTIFIED SO FAR.
STUDENTS AND BROTHERS TRAPPED BY FLAMES AS THEY SLEPT.
St. Hyacinthe, Que., Jan. 18 (Canadian Press) -- Twenty-one persons were feared to have died early today in a fire that trapped more than 100 asleep in The College of The Sacred Heart here.
The only victim identified was Brother JEAN BAPTISTE, 64, who leaped from one of the school's upper windows and died as he reached a hospital.
Police Chief A. BOURGEOIS said six bodies had been reported taken from the still-blazing building and "about 25, maybe 30" persons still were missing.
The editor of the local newspaper said about 20 persons perished inside the school besides the brother.
21 In Hospital.
Five brothers and 16 students were in St. Charles hospital. Four of them were reported in dangerous condition from injuries suffered in jumping from the four-story building or from exposure.
The fire's origin was not determined.
Apparently it had been burning at least 30 minutes when a passerby saw the flames.
The occupants were warned immediately and an alarm spread.
At noon firemen still were pouring water from 15 hose lines into the blazing wreckage, but made little progress in extinguishing it. They had not been able to get into the building to begin the search for bodies and said it "might be hours" before they could.
Montreal Jan. 18 (Canadian Press) -- Seven persons were known dead after a fire swept the College of the Sacred Heart, a boarding school for boys at St. Hyacinthe, Que., and the town's chief of police said "about 25, or maybe 30" still were missing hours after the building had collapsed.
Police Chief A. BOURGEOIS said six bodies had been taken from the ruins of the school, operated by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, and doctors reported another died later in a hospital.
About 22 others were taken to the hospital, most of them in night clothes, through sub-zero weather.
The ruins of the school, on the outskirts of St. Hyacinthe, 35 miles east of Montreal, were being searched for more bodies.
About 160 students attended the institution, which had a faculty of approximately 50.
Fought Fire 3 Hours.
The fire chief said the blaze broke out about 2 a.m. and that his men had fought the flames for more than three hours before searchers could get near enough to look for bodies. Volunteer firemen aided the regular force.
Some of the students were taken to nearby farm houses and police said on this account it was difficult to check quickly the number of dead.
As word of the fire spread through the town of 14,000 population, private cars began appearing at the scene and their occupants started digging through the debris, seeking to recover the dead.
Every member of the hospital staff was called into emergency duty shortly after the first ambulance arrived with loads of injured. Travel over the snow and ice-coated roads was difficult for the ambulances.
Four Brothers Missing.
Col. P. A. PULZE, head of the Quebec Provincial Police, said police at St. Hyacinthe had reported four members of the Order of the Sacred Heart, brothers in charge of the institution, were among those known dead. One was killed when he jumped from an upper story.
Col. PULZE said his reports were that "about 24" were missing. He added definite count of the dead was impossible until a thorough check could be made at the school and at St. Charles Hospital, in St. Hyacinthe, where most of the injured were taken.
Moberly Monitor Index Missouri 1938-01-18
FIRE DEATH TOLL MAY REACH FIFTY.
19 KNOWN DEAD IN SCHOOL RUINS, 26 ON LIST OF 'UNREPORTED.'
St. Hyacinthe, Que., Jan. 19 (Canadian Press) -- Two blackened skulls were found today in the frozen ashes of the burned college of the Sacred Heart, raising to 19 the total of known dead in the fire that destroyed the school for boys early yesterday.
It was feared the death list might reach 50. Twenty-six teaching brothers and students were listed as "unreported." Five of 21 injured, pronounced close to death, had last rites of the church administered to them in St. Charles Hospital.
Searching crews poking through the wreckage of the four-story college found the two skulls, unrecognizable as were most of the 16 bodies previously removed.
JEAN MARCEL PHENIX, 12-year-old pupil who leaped from the roof of the college when it collapsed, told today of the heroism of a teacher who lost his life to save a group of boys.
Brother PAUL ARMAND, born EDWARD DAUPHENAIS, whose family lives at Woonsocket, R. I., was in charge of the dormitory of "Les Petits" -- the lower-form boys. The teacher herded the youngsters to one wing of the building and persuaded several to jump. The roof collapsed as he tried to get the others to follow Brother PAUL ARMAND and five or six of the pupils were plunged into the inferno.
Moberly Monitor Index Missouri 1938-01-19