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Lowell fire takes place among other tragic blazes in the region

The fire that killed seven people in Lowell this week was one of many to hit the region. Hundreds of people have lost their lives in the fatal blazes of past decades. Here’s a summary of some of the most notable tragic fires in recent years.


Beacon Street

  • March 26, 2014

  • Two Boston firefighters died in a nine-alarm Back Bay fire fanned by winds gusting up to 45 miles per hour. The powerful blaze took the lives of Lieutenant Edward J. Walsh Jr. and Firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, despite frantic attempts to save them.

Associated Press

The Station nightclub

  • Feb. 20, 2003

  • A fire sparked by pyrotechnics broke out during a concert by the group Great White at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, R.I., killing 100 people and injuring about 200.

Worcester Cold Storage

  • Dec. 3, 1999

  • Six Worcester firefighters died after a homeless couple taking shelter in a warehouse building knocked over a candle and set the blaze. A new fire station has since opened at the site of the tragedy.

North Attleborough

  • Dec. 24, 1994

  • Seven people, including five children, died in a Christmas Eve blaze. Six of the victims were members of the Fontaine family, and one was a guest who was staying overnight. Fire officials have said that working fire detectors could have saved lives that night; the circuit of the one smoke detector in the basement of the Fontaines’ home had been disconnected.

Greg Derr/Globe File Photo

Elliot Chambers Boarding House

  • July 4, 1984

  • A fire at the Elliot Chambers Boarding House in Beverly killed 14 people. Officials would later say that the 35-room building was “built to burn.” The blaze spurred state legislation requiring sprinklers in boarding and lodging houses.

Globe File Photo

Lowell tenement fire

  • March 5, 1982

  • Victor Rosario was found guilty in 1983 after confessing that he and two other men had used Molotov cocktails to set the fire, the deadliest in Lowell’s history. Eight people died — three adults and five children. Rosario had long professed his innocence, and in July a judge granted a new trial, citing potential flaws in the 1982 investigation and questions over whether Rosario’s confession was given voluntarily.

Frank Wing

Hotel Vendome

  • June 17, 1972

  • On the deadliest day in the history of the Boston Fire Department, nine firefighters were killed when a section of the Hotel Vendome collapsed on Commonwealth Avenue.

Roosevelt Hotel

  • Feb. 4, 1968

  • Nine people died as the six-story Roosevelt Hotel in the South End burned in 1968, while 75 others were rescued with ladders.

Paramount Hotel

  • Jan. 28, 1966

  • Nine people were killed in a fire at the Paramount Hotel in downtown Boston. A 10th person died later.

USS Leyte

  • Oct. 16, 1953

  • The explosion and fire on the USS Leyte at South Boston Naval Annex took 36 lives and injured 40. As a result of the ensuing investigation, the US Navy changed all catapult firing mechanisms from oil hydraulics to steam.

Globe File Photo

Cocoanut Grove

  • Nov. 28, 1942

  • Flammable decor at the Cocoanut Grove night club aided a fast-moving inferno in the above-capacity club on Piedmont Street, killing 492 people. Witnesses were quoted saying that they were shocked by the speed and force of the blaze.

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