HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » 42 years ago today: the B...

Tue May 28, 2019, 03:36 PM

42 years ago today: the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire

Beverly Hills Supper Club fire



The club on fire.

Date: May 28, 1977
Venue: Beverly Hills Supper Club
Location: Southgate, Kentucky
Coordinates: 39°03′49″N 84°27′54″W
Type Fire
Deaths: 165
Non-fatal injuries: 200+

The Beverly Hills Supper Club fire in Southgate, Kentucky, is the third deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history. It occurred on the night of May 28, 1977, during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. A total of 165 people died and more than 200 were injured as a result of the blaze. It was the deadliest fire in the United States since 168 people were killed in the Hartford circus fire in Hartford, Connecticut in 1944.
....

Night of May 28, 1977

On Saturday, May 28, 1977, the Beverly Hills Supper Club was operating beyond capacity, largely due to the popularity of that evening's Cabaret Room show, featuring popular Hollywood singer and actor John Davidson. Based on its number of exits, the Cabaret Room could safely accommodate about 600 people, according to the calculations of the Fire Marshal; on this night it exceeded capacity, with people seated on ramps and in aisles. According to later estimates based on seating charts and memories of those present, the number of people in the Cabaret Room at 9:00 p.m. on May 28 was somewhere between 900[10] and 1,300. Regardless of the exact number each gives, sources agree that the room was well beyond its safe holding limit.

Elsewhere in the club, patrons were eating gourmet meals. Later estimates place the total number of people in the Beverly Hills Supper Club on May 28, 1977 at approximately 3,000, substantially more than the 1,500 people fire code allowed at the time for a building with the number of exits the club had.

Near the south exit close to the main bar, opposite end of the building from the Cabaret Room, a wedding reception drew to a close around 8:30 p.m. in the Zebra Room, near the building's main entrance; some of its guests had complained of the room being excessively warm with loud explosions from beneath the floor, and the group left the building before the end of their allotted time. The room remained vacant from their departure until a minute before 9 pm, when an employee smelled smoke and opened the Zebra Room's door to confirm the presence of smoke. She asked another employee to call the Fire Department while she and others grabbed any available fire extinguishers and began trying to fight the flames. Though the employees were not aware of it, their opening of the Zebra Room's door allowed enough oxygen into the room to cause what had been a smoldering fire in the room's drop ceiling to flashover and begin to spread rapidly. It quickly became clear that fire extinguishers were useless against the fast-growing blaze. The Fire Department was alerted to the fire at 9:01 p.m. and arrived by 9:05; as they approached, firefighters on the first emergency vehicles could already see smoke coming from the building.

0 replies, 712 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Reply to this thread