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The Cocoanut Grove Nightclub Fire: A Boston Tragedy



By John M. Malecky                                                               March, 2024


The Cocoanut Grove Nightclub Fire: A Boston Tragedy

By Stefanie Schorow


Available from:

FSP Books & Videos

433 Main Street, Suite 2A

Hudson, MA  01749


E-mail: support@fire-police-ems.com


Price $23.99


This is a soft cover book measuring six-inches by nine-inches, with 175 pages. As many readers may know, it is the story of one of the most deadly fires in American history, which occurred in 1942. The author, a journalist, writing instructor and the author or coauthor of eight books on Boston history, explains in detail about the fire and many things related to it. This is the third book that she has written about the fire. It just seems to be a horrible story that never seems to end because as time goes on, more details come forth about it even after all this time. Nearly 500 people perished from this fire, many being incinerated by the flames and heat, while others died from smoke or from being trampled on by those trying to escape through doorways of which the doors opened inward, hampering egress. The dead included patrons, employees and celebrities who were booked to perform. Locked side doors were also illegal and part of the problem, all in the name of making sure patrons paid their tabs before they left. Fighting the fire is covered in one chapter. The book covers every aspect of the tragedy, including the construction of the building, the wiring, refrigerator system, flammable decorations, as well as the main focus of running a business in which profit was key. There is not enough space allotted in this column to explain all the aspects which should be read about the fire. One of the laws I believe which was born from this incident is that all doors should open outward at businesses such as this. It is a horrible story, especially when human life is lost, yet even till today, there has not been a concrete cause established about how it started!

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John MaleckySenior Columnist

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