our lady of the angels fire 95 students killed 50th anniversary

Full story: Chicago Tribune

On Dec. 1, 1958, a fire consumed Our Lady of the Angels grade school on the West Side of Chicago, killing 92 children and three nuns.

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MOR

Boise, ID

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#72
May 23, 2011
 

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Archdiocese take responsibility for what? Sure, with 20/20 hindsight the fire standards were unacceptable, but the school WAS in compliance with the regulations at the time. Put responsibility where it lies, with the arsonist. And yes, I went to Catholic school for 16 years. I am an agnostic now, but I don't feel the need for Catholic bashing. The conditions at OLOA were matched by many public schools at the time. You sound like those people who blame the architect of the World Trade Center because it collapsed after being hit by fuel-laden planes the size of which he could not have conceived of when he designed it.
Jacoma Corporale wrote:
The children that died in that fire are still waiting for justice to prevail; where is the justice? Without justice there's no peace in sight. By process of elimination we cannot blame the children nor their parents, so why hasn't the Archdiocese stepped up to the plate to take responsibility & accountability? Whoever you are, you have blood on your hands. I, unfortunately am a product of Catholic schools for 12 years, & know the rampant stupidity of that time. No, God did not take the good ones; no, it was not an act of God. These phrases were used by the Nuns & Clergy as a coverup. I was 3 years old when the fire occured, yet, when I attended Catholic Grammar School a few years later, this fire was never mentioned. The Nuns & Priests had orders to "dummy up" & cover up. I went to Mass every morning before class; never in the 8 years I attended was this tragedy mentioned. How does the Archdiocese justify this? How dare you pretend that this never happened, or stupidly think that if you sweep it under the rug it will go away?
Back in the 60's, a favorite phrase the Nuns loved then was telling kids like myself that if we did or said something they did not like, we would "go to hell". I was too young to say this then, but am old enough now to tell the Clergy & Nuns to go to hell themselves.
dan

Apollo, PA

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#73
May 24, 2011
 
yochanan wrote:
when i was in college i had a girl friend who wrote a moving book on the 'OUR LADY OF ANGEL FIRE'
The Fire That Will Not Die, by Michele McBride
I read Michele's book recently. Could you tell me more about her and the difficulties that she faced after the fire? Especially interested in her relationship to Valerie Thoma.
dan

Apollo, PA

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#74
May 24, 2011
 
I recently read Michele's book and would like to know about her and the difficulties that she faced after the fire. Especially would like to know more about her relationship to Valerie Thoma
Cathy clark

New York, NY

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#75
Apr 27, 2012
 
I was a young child in downstate Illinois and I remember it. many times I have looked at the photos and the smiles on the faces, their pictures in younger grades and can't even put words into the horrific loss.
then kn the fall of 1979 our high school caught dire after school in Granite City. We had just got on the school busses at 320 and heard the alarms. It was set in the auditorium to the curtain, groups were still meeting in the school. everyone got out. by 4 pm the auditorium collapsed. Adjoining class rooms and the guidance offices burned up but it didn't spread to either side of the school due to fire doors. Mr. Gilbert W a l m s e y the assistant principal hurt his dot handing school records out the window. No lives were lost, nobody was burned. But for the rest od the year we wondered who did ir. Our fire started 6 minutes after school. minutes make all the difference.
Cathy clark

New York, NY

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#76
Apr 27, 2012
 
Fall of 1979. Error.
Cathy clark

New York, NY

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#77
Apr 27, 2012
 
This is my last post. I want every word to be accurate. In the fall of nineteen seventy Granite City high school had a horrific fire but no lives were lost. My iPad keeps typing 1979.
Arpatruc

La Sarraz, Switzerland

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#78
May 28, 2012
 
The justice ruined the life of the janitor who was innocent, but instead, protected the real murderer, a 10yo boy from Cicero who confessed lit the fire. He draw a perfect plan and located precisely the origin of the fire; as well as he mentioned details the police didn't released. The judge Alfred Cilella admitted years later in private that he had known the boy was guilty.
The boy continued to light more arson fires; one of which had fatalities.

The list of survivors of class 206 mention
three confirmed 10yo boys,
two 11yo and
three boys of unconfirmed age.

According their respective testimonies, J. Grosso and P. Sprovieri (both 10yo) were sent to the basement for an unknown reason. They both turned back together in class when they saw the smoke.
"On the afternoon of the fire, Ms. Tristano sent me (Grosso) and another boy on an errand down to the basement but we never made it. We saw smoke and went back to the room."
Sprovieri sister says "He (Sprovieri) and another student were in the halls completing some job or task they were given when they saw the smoke. They ran and told their teacher who instructed the class to evacuated from the school"

W. Kellner went to the basement before the fire to empty garbage pails with another student but came back alone,
"On the day of the fire, I was sent down to the basement along with another student from Room 206, a prime candidate for having started the fire, to empty garbage pails. I knew this student pretty well and had seen him light matches in apartment buildings prior to the date of the fire [...] he did not return to the classroom when I did that day, that there was no fire in the basement of the school during the time I was in the basement of the school and that the fire was noticed shortly after this student returned to the classroom"

That don't match the confession of the arsonist who declares being alone,
"I asked my teacher if I could be excused and went to the washroom..."

Another whiteness from the same class confirm the arsonist confession, remembered him leaving the classroom at around 2 pm.
"I remember him raising his hand, right around two o'clock, asking to use the washroom. He left that room and when he came back it wasn't long before Miss Tristano noticed the smoke and had us evacuate."

More strange, a fourth schooler, F. Grimaldi (11yo) said before coroner's jury being in the basement alone too,
"...went to John in AM, heard funny sounding noise in boiler room, can't explain it. Went to John in early afternoon, smelled smoke. Ran upstairs to 2nd floor and told nun about smoke. Teacher was Miss Pearl Tristano, lay teacher.".

That let as arsonist,
a) the three boys of unconfirmed age :
V. Jacobellis
M. Leonard
G. Mash
b) F. Grimaldi (although is is 11 yo)
or c) W. Kellner himself

What we know from the John E. Reid report on arsonist confession :
Lives at 1836 South 50 or 58th Avenue in Cicero, Illinois
Date of birth : October 4, 1948
After the fire, he was transferred to St. Attracta; and later at Cicero public school.

Some sources said he died in California in September 2004 (not confirmed)
testing

United States

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#79
May 29, 2012
 
sekali test bunting
someone

San Diego, CA

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#80
Jul 29, 2012
 
The boy that set the fire his name was left off the survivor list.
Confused wrote:
union fool...if you did any research, you'd know the room number of the child who set the fire...as well as the names of the 4 boys in the class. no rumor being started by my question. all this information is listed on the ola website. history books are filled with scores of names of people who have committed crimes...this paper is filled with names of people who have committed crimes. moron. maybe you should comment on the people who have blamed nuns and janitors who did nothing but help.
someone

San Diego, CA

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#81
Jul 29, 2012
 
She did call the fire department and they told her a call had already come in. She was scared to let him use the phone as she didn't know him and it was in the area they lived at in the store in the back, The woman was 29 years old and had a small child. She was criticized for not letting the man use the phone.
MIKETOUHY wrote:
I have the 2001 publication of Great Chicago Fires which was written by a Chicago firefighter and 1 story that was mentioned how a saleman ran into a nearby store wanting to use the phone to call the FD and the store owner was uncomfortable allowing him to use it and I guess she must have not phoned to FD herself because she was criticized badly.
If this is true than why would she have ignored what this man was telling her?
check it out

Edwardsville, IL

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#82
Aug 5, 2012
 

Judged:

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State of Illinois v Alan P Norcutt
bwc

Ithaca, NY

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#83
Aug 21, 2012
 
Arpatruc wrote:
The justice ruined the life of the janitor who was innocent, but instead, protected the real murderer, a 10yo boy from Cicero who confessed lit the fire. He draw a perfect plan and located precisely the origin of the fire; as well as he mentioned details the police didn't released. The judge Alfred Cilella admitted years later in private that he had known the boy was guilty.
The boy continued to light more arson fires; one of which had fatalities.
The list of survivors of class 206 mention
three confirmed 10yo boys,
two 11yo and
three boys of unconfirmed age.
According their respective testimonies, J. Grosso and P. Sprovieri (both 10yo) were sent to the basement for an unknown reason. They both turned back together in class when they saw the smoke.
"On the afternoon of the fire, Ms. Tristano sent me (Grosso) and another boy on an errand down to the basement but we never made it. We saw smoke and went back to the room."
Sprovieri sister says "He (Sprovieri) and another student were in the halls completing some job or task they were given when they saw the smoke. They ran and told their teacher who instructed the class to evacuated from the school"
W. Kellner went to the basement before the fire to empty garbage pails with another student but came back alone,
"On the day of the fire, I was sent down to the basement along with another student from Room 206, a prime candidate for having started the fire, to empty garbage pails. I knew this student pretty well and had seen him light matches in apartment buildings prior to the date of the fire [...] he did not return to the classroom when I did that day, that there was no fire in the basement of the school during the time I was in the basement of the school and that the fire was noticed shortly after this student returned to the classroom"
That don't match the confession of the arsonist who declares being alone,
"I asked my teacher if I could be excused and went to the washroom..."
Another whiteness from the same class confirm the arsonist confession, remembered him leaving the classroom at around 2 pm.
"I remember him raising his hand, right around two o'clock, asking to use the washroom. He left that room and when he came back it wasn't long before Miss Tristano noticed the smoke and had us evacuate."
More strange, a fourth schooler, F. Grimaldi (11yo) said before coroner's jury being in the basement alone too,
"...went to John in AM, heard funny sounding noise in boiler room, can't explain it. Went to John in early afternoon, smelled smoke. Ran upstairs to 2nd floor and told nun about smoke. Teacher was Miss Pearl Tristano, lay teacher.".
That let as arsonist,
a) the three boys of unconfirmed age :
V. Jacobellis
M. Leonard
G. Mash
b) F. Grimaldi (although is is 11 yo)
or c) W. Kellner himself
What we know from the John E. Reid report on arsonist confession :
Lives at 1836 South 50 or 58th Avenue in Cicero, Illinois
Date of birth : October 4, 1948
After the fire, he was transferred to St. Attracta; and later at Cicero public school.
Some sources said he died in California in September 2004 (not confirmed)
Don't trust the birth date; the date is wrong, but the month is right.
Peter

Woodridge, IL

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#84
Dec 18, 2012
 
Sue Cronin wrote:
I've just stopped watching the video appalled at the sight of some disrespectful journalist with a cigar stuck in his mouth as he talks about the death of 90 children. One could be forgiven for thinking that he's chatting about the football score. His disrespect beggars belief.
Wow!
Some people smoke cigars. It doesn't mean they are disrespectful. Maybe if you had continued to watch you would have seen how upset he was by what he witnissed that day.
Researcher1

Des Plaines, IL

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#85
Feb 5, 2013
 
Confused wrote:
union fool...if you did any research, you'd know the room number of the child who set the fire...as well as the names of the 4 boys in the class. no rumor being started by my question. all this information is listed on the ola website. history books are filled with scores of names of people who have committed crimes...this paper is filled with names of people who have committed crimes. moron. maybe you should comment on the people who have blamed nuns and janitors who did nothing but help.
The name of the arsonist is not on the list of survivors.
Researcher1

Des Plaines, IL

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#86
Feb 5, 2013
 
To Confused: The name of the confessed arsonist is not on the list of survivors on the OLA site. You did not do your homework.
Researcher1

Des Plaines, IL

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#87
Feb 5, 2013
 
Did you notice how only 600+ students out of a student body of 1600 are listed on the site? Also the average class size was 40-50 students per class. Rm. 206 does not list that many students. Your assumptions are incorrect.
Researcher1

Des Plaines, IL

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#88
Feb 5, 2013
 
I should have said suspected arsonist above. While 2 people confessed, neither was prosecuted.
grounded in Reality

Nashua, NH

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#90
Feb 8, 2013
 

Judged:

1

I feel you pain. But since that even over ten thousand Chicago negro black people have been shot killed by other negro black people and very few if any of those homicides have been solved.

so for now lets move into the here and now and focus on solving some of these currant negro black people homicides shall we??
Teacher

Saint Louis, MO

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#92
Feb 16, 2013
 
Researcher1 wrote:
I should have said suspected arsonist above. While 2 people confessed, neither was prosecuted.
Researcher, Do you know the name of the suspect? I mean the boy who attended OLA, not the convicted arsonist who confessed as an adult.
grounded in reality

Nashua, NH

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#93
Feb 17, 2013
 

Judged:

1

in more recent GNUS several thousand black people have been shot and killed on the south side of Chicago.

those homicides have gone unsolved so many murders go unpunished.

law enforcement should take a 25% pay cut until the back log of unsolved murders are brought up to court.

ending with convictions.
somebody on the south side got the 411 law enforcement needs the cops just get out of the coffee shop and on the case load.

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