Atlantic City, NJ Surfside Hotel Fire, Nov 1963
ATLANTIC CITY HOTELS FIRE TOLL MAY HIT 25
8 KNOWN DEAD, 17 MISSING IN MILLION DOLLAR BLAZE.
Atlantic City (AP) -- At least eight persons died and 17 were missing and feared dead in an estimated million dollar blaze yesterday that spread from a frame hotel for elderly guests to a row of closed hotels near the famed Atlantic City boardwalk.
A woman victim died at Atlantic City Hospital. The others, none identified, were among 24 persons police listed as unaccounted for.
All had been guests at one hotel, the Surfside, where the fire started. Police and firemen picked their way through the Surfside's debris with a huge crane last night in search of other victims.
"Some of the people may have scampered out and have not reported," said Acting Fire Prevention Chief MICHAEL BLOOMBERG. BLOOMBERG, who estimated the damage, also said the cause of the fire was not known.
FBI On Job.
The FBI in Washington said it was sending a three-man identification team here at the request of police, to help identify fire victims through their fingerprints.
The fire spread from the Surfside to buildings on both sides, collapsing walls and roofs and showering flaming rubble to the street. Sparks touched off other buildings. More than 200 firemen worked to keep the fire from spreading.
Five hotel buildings and one rooming house were destroyed, four other buildings damaged.
A family of seven including the owners of the Surfside jumped from a window about 15 feet to the ground. A woman, her hair sizzling, raced down a hallway and crawled through a window onto a porch roof to be rescued by firemen.
MILTON RAUER, owner of the Surfside, said 20 of the guests were year-round residents of the hotel and another 10 were there on short vacations from New York, Philadelphia and other cities.