|Death: ||Mar. 4, 1908|
The Collinwood school fire occurred March 4, 1908 in Collinwood, Ohio (now a part of Cleveland). 172 students, two teachers and one rescuer were killed.
Lake View School was built with masonry walls and wooden joists. One wooden joist caught fire when a steam pipe overheated it. The building's main staircase extended from the front doors of the building, up to the third floor; without benefit of fire doors. The stairwell acted like a chimney, helping to spread the fire quickly. Oiled wooden hall and classroom floors also fueled the fire.
Contrary to local legend, building's doors opened outward. This is verified by accounts of the fire written at the time. As panic leading to the crush of a large number of students in stairwell vestibules contributed to the death toll, students also died as a result of smoke inhalation and the fire itself. Some children died jumping from second and third story windows. Family and neighbors watched as victims trapped in the building were burned beyond recognition.
Those killed in the fire who could not be individually identified, as well as those students whose parents could not afford a burial, were buried in a mass grave in Cleveland's Lake View Cemetery. Additionally, several families who lost their children in the fire chose to bury their children's remains adjacent to the Collinwood victims.
-most info from John Stark Bellamy II's book, "They Died Crawling"
Thanks to member Rich Markusic for additional information!
Irene's father, W.B. Davis, was so overcome that he was unable to even look at the bodies to try to identify his daughter. His other little daughter, Helen, calmly led him by the hand and looked for him. She identified Irene by her dress and a ring.
Lake View Cemetery
Maintained by: cypressgreen
Originally Created by: Shiver
Record added: Sep 11, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7861466