Coconut Grove Fire

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Cocoanut Grove The Cocoanut Grove was a restaurant and supper club located in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. The building was built in 1927 and was located near Park Square. The Grove, as it was called, had been very popular during the late 1920’s, but had come across hard times during the 1930’s. In the early years of World War II the restaurant became very popular again. In 1942, The Grove was the popular place to be and where everyone liked to hang out. The building was a single-story structure with a basement below. A bar, called the Melody Lounge, occupied the basement as well as the kitchen, freezers, and storage areas. Located on the first floor was a large dining room, a ballroom with a bandstand, and several bar areas separate…show more content…
Guests started heading for the only public exit from the Melody Lounge, which was a four-foot wide staircase that lead to the foyer on the first floor. Furnishings caught fire, and a wave of fire and toxic gases spread across the room heading toward the stairway. Panic came over the crowd and attempts to open the emergency door at the top of the stairs failed. The fire spread up the stairs and into the foyer area, which contained the coat rooms, restrooms, and the main entrance. The panic continued as cries of “FIRE! FIRE!” were shouted by patrons as the crowd raced toward the main entrance door. The first few were able to exit through the revolving door, but as the mass of patrons slammed into the exit the doors became jammed. People outside the building looked on as they watched their friends and relatives get crushed by the crowd surging against the jammed door. The fire then spread to the dining room where most of the guests where gathered together in anticipation of the start of the 10pm show. It is estimated that more than 1000 people were inside the Grove at the time of the fire. Just as it happened downstairs, panic overcame the crowd and guests tried to find the exits. Many of the exits were locked shut or not easily noticeable. The blaze now had total control of the building and the temperature inside was rising tremendously as were the levels of toxic gases. The streets in the area of the Grove were small and

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