Fire in the Grove: The Cocoanut Grove Tragedy and Its Aftermath

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by John C. Esposito | History |
ISBN: 030681501x Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingfurballwing of Alexandria, Virginia USA on 1/31/2016
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingfurballwing from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Sunday, January 31, 2016
In 1942, the Cocoanut Grove was the hot place to be. On November 28, that became literal. A fire that started in a basement bar engulfed the building in 8 minutes, leaving 420 people dead. How could this have happened?

In most disaster books (and movies), the disaster itself is the most exciting part. This book starts with the fire, with firemen who had just put out a car fire looking up to see black smoke billowing down the street. The rest of the book deals with the hows, whys, what happened afterward. Why were the walls and ceiling draped with fabric that hadn't been treated with fire-retardant? How did the survivors escape despite locked doors? Did nightclub owner Barney Welansky pay for cutting so many corners in the construction of the Cocoanut Grove, or did he walk away like the owners of the Triangle Waist Factory? What about the officials and workers involved with the Cocoanut Grove?

A couple of good things came out of the Cocoanut Grove disaster. Advances were made in the healing of severe burns. (Incidentally, the chapters on the effect of burns and their treatment may not make the best reading material if you are eating.) Another was the definition of involuntary manslaughter.

Oh, and the next time that you or someone you know complain about useless and annoying inspections are, and that they exist only to make money for the government, keep in mind that ol' Barney would have agreed completely.

Journal Entry 2 by krin511 at Washington, District of Columbia USA on Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Picked up at the BCinDC meeting last Sunday at SoHo Tea and Coffee near Dupont Circle!

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