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Philadelphia, PA Hotel Fire, Dec 1948

TWO DIE AS FIRE SWEEPS HOTEL; 95 FLEE TO SAFETY.

Philadelphia -- (AP) -- A fire in a Philadelphia hotel yesterday trapped and killed a 51-year-old man and a 73-year-old woman. Two other guests and a fireman were burned; 95 persons fled to safety.
The blaze in one section of the Westminster Hotel on Chestnut Street, was discovered by WILLIAM McKINLEY, 38, a second floor guest who -- clad only in shorts -- ran through the halls shouting "fire!"
His alarm aroused other guests who fled into the freezing streets in their night clothes.
The victims who died of suffocation were CHARLES MABE, retired Marine Corps sergeant, and MRS. MADELEINE DROST, both residents of the hotel.
The man's body was found in his bedroom closet. Firemen said they believe he mistook the closet door for that to the hallway and was felled by the heat in the small enclosure.
MRS. DROST, they said, might have been saved if she had remained in her room with the door closed to prevent the flames sweeping through.

The Bradford Era Pennsylvania 1948-12-22

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