The Cocoanut Grove Fire was a nightclub fire in the United States.
The deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history, the Cocoanut Grove nightclub burned on November 28, 1942, killing 492 people.
My hands are trembling all over this typewriter keyboard as the reaction sets in to a night of almost indescribable horror.
I "covered" the Cocoanut Grove fire which was one of the worst conflagrations in this Nation's history and certainly the worst nightclub fire.
AP Was There: Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire kills 492
The Canadian Press November 28, 2017
The flames began, witnesses said, in or around an artificial palm tree in a downstairs lounge of a Boston nightclub full of an estimated 1,000 people. It took less than two minutes for flames and heat to roar upstairs.
Some patrons of the 1 1/2 -story Cocoanut Grove nightclub managed to make their way to the roof and jump to the street, landing on top of parked cars, according to Associated Press coverage of the fire that blazed late on Nov. 28, 1942. But many died as fleeing patrons jammed a single revolving door. Other escape doors were locked or swung inward, making them useless against a wall of people.
The result was what still stands today as the nation's deadliest nightclub fire, a disaster that killed 492 people and led to stricter enforcement of fire codes and to innovations in the treatment of burn victims.
The AP was on the scene almost immediately. One of the reporters, Harry C. Glasheen, embedded himself in the rescue crews and helped carry some of the dead from the building.
Below is a version of his first-person account from that harrowing night 75 years ago: