|Birth: ||Jan. 7, 1923|
|Death: ||Dec. 7, 1946|
The Winecoff hotel fire death toll climbed to 120 today as multiple investigations were ordered into Saturday's disaster which was the nation's most costly hotel conflagration
REVISED LIST OF DEAD IN FIRE
Atlanta, Dec. 7, 1946,
A revised list of the identified dead in the Winecoff Hotel fire, follows:
1. MRS. CHARLES S. BOSCHUNG, Cullman, Ala.
She had gotten married exactly one week before the fire and was spending her honeymoon in Atlanta with her new husband Charlie who survived the fire.
They were staying in room 1208
FEW SUCCEED IN ESCAPING FROM INFERNO
Investigation Opens Into Worst U.S. Hotel Fire ATLANTA, Ga., Dec 7, 1946
A mass of flames shot through the 15-story Winecoff Hotel, today an inferno which killed 120 persons, and tonight an exhaustive investigation was begun to learn the cause of the holocaust, worst hotel fire in the nation's history. In three hours of flaming hell, while fire raged un-checked, the hotels 280 guests tried to escape. A few succeeded, some of them with miraculous tales of their experiences. But most of the men, women and children who jammed the 194 rooms for the weekend were either killed or injured.
Leap From Windows - Many of the injured were horribly burned or had multiple fractures caused by leaping from windows. As flames shot skyward through the brick structure, guests awoke in a smoky fog. From windows and window ledges, aroused from their slumber and crazed by terror, they called for help, pleading to be rescued. But many of them fell or leaped to death, their nightclothes trailing ribbons of flames. While the dead were still being counted, all employees of the hotel were called for exhaustive questioning by fire officials seeking to determine the cause.
Met Safety Standards - City Fire Marshal Harry Phillips said the Winecoff had been inspected during the past week and had met fire department regulations. Atlanta hotels are inspected once a month. The National Hotel Guide listed the Winecoff as fireproof but Phillips said he did not consider any building in that category, only fire resistant. As far as firemen could find, there were no fire escapes. An unidentified fireman believed the fire was caused by the explosion of some type of gas in the interior of the building. Officially, there was no explanation.
All Ambulances Called - Every ambulance within a 20-mile radius of the city was called to move the dead and injured soon after the fire started before dawn. Taxicabs were pressed into service as hearses, and this time the meter hands were not pushed down.
Out Of Control - In the next few minutes, the first screams of the trapped sleepers began to echo through the halls and bodies began hurtling from the upper floors. Firemen, ordered to answer all downtown calls with every piece of equipment, came with life nets, long ladders, and high pressure pumpers. They arrived within a minute or two of the alarm, but already the flames were raging out of control. Firemen heroically plunged through what seemed to be solid walls of flames to effect miraculous rescues. Firemen implored some of the trapped guests to stay where they were until help arrived, but many were too horrified by the flames and leaped to their deaths in the streets below.
Plunge to Death- Some survived by fashioning ropes from bed sheets and blankets and hanging form windows, but others who tried this plunged to death because the cloth would not hold their weight. As the fire was extinguished after five hours of pouring tons of water into the furnace, the pitiful procession of the dead and injured still moved away from the scene to morgues and hospitals.
While the hotel was supposedly fireproof, the seventh through tenth floors were not just damaged but totally destroyed. The only thing that remained in these rooms were the metal decorations on some of the beds.
Cullman City Cemetery
Created by: Kathline Forrester York
Record added: Jul 29, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 28633543
Added: Apr. 15, 2016
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