Philadelphia, PA Convalescent Home Fire, Sep 1973

NINE ELDERLY PEOPLE ARE KILLED IN BLAZE.

Philadelphia (AP) -- A pre-dawn fire killed nine elderly people at a West Philadelphia convalescent home today.
Officials said they feared the death toll would rise even higher.
The blaze left three injured, one critically, said Fire Commissioner Joseph Rizzo. He said possibly 11 or more may be dead.
The blaze broke out in the Washington Hill Nursing Home shortly before 5 a.m. It caught most of the estimated 52 occupants asleep.
Rizzo said firemen rescued about 40 of the residents, many of them crippled.
Names of the dead and injured were unavailable.
The cause of the fire was not given, but Rizzo said one of the aides on duty is under police investigation.
"One attendant was not performing her duty," Rizzo said. "Our doctors examined her and she was under the influence," He did not elaborate.
"Flames were coming in from the ceiling," said 86-year-old EMMA COLEMAN, an invalid who was carried from the building wrapped in a hospital gown. "I left everything I had."
Part of the building collapsed after firemen brought the blaze under control in about 40 minutes.
Firemen summoned a large crane to root through the smoking ruins in a gripping search for bodies.
"I feel that the alarm system was not functioning properly," Rizzo said. "I can't believe in all my experience that the heat detectors didn't work."

Delaware County Daily Times Chester Pennsylvania 1973-09-13

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From the Delaware County Daily Times Chester Pennsylvania 1973-09-14
Here are the names of the 11 who died:
JOHN DOBKISS, 88.
JAMES MIDDLETON, 63.
RUBIN COHEN, 65.
ALBERT SCHRAGER, no age.
CHARLES CARSON, 58.
JOSEPH ROACH, 83.
EDWARD PELLETREAU, 72.
IGNATIUS McCARTHY, 64.
ROBERT CARPENTER, 49.
JOHN CHRISTIE, 69.
JOHN BENNETT, 60.