Lessons Learned From the 1903 Iroquois Disaster

Highly advertised as being “absolutely fireproof”, The Iroquois Theater was as fireproof as the Titanic was unsinkable. On December 30th, of the year 1903, five weeks after The Iroquois opened, The Iroquois Theater did indeed burn. The fire was so bad that in just under 8 minutes it roared through the theater claiming 602 lives and injuring at least 250 others (Foy, 1995).

According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), this fire is by far the deadliest theater fire in American history and is the fifth deadliest of all American fires. The Iroquois fire took more lives than even the Great Chicago fire of 1871.

What makes this fire even more devastating, if that is even possible, is that it was mostly women and children that were in the theater when it was destroyed (Brandt, 2003). What happened that made this theater burn and how come so many lives were lost in such a short span of time? What could have been done to prevent this devastation and what can we learn from this to prevent future tragedies?

Here’s the detailed essay

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