Boston Holds Groundbreaking Of Arch Monument For Cocoanut Grove Blaze

Photo: Jay Willett / WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — On Sunday, the Boston Fire Department met up with members of City Hall and the public to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of a monument to remember the 492 victims of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire of 1492.

That clear night, Fire Commissioner Paul Burke said venue decorations went up in an instant fireball, cutting off electricity and trapping about a thousand patrons inside with the Grove's inward-opening doors. Nearly half of those people died, a tragedy that spearheaded building codes in the city and education on fire prevention.

The monument from the Cocoanut Grove Memorial Committee will be arches on Statler Park at Bay Village with the names of the victims.

Read More: Firefighters Battle 6-Alarm Fire At Multi-Family Homes In Dorchester

Nursing Professor at Salem State Barbara Poremba outlined what Boston hospitals looked like during that wartime inferno.

"Averaging one patient every eleven seconds [it] exceeded the treatment rate encountered at London during the Blitz," Poremba said.

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