Aberdeen, WA Hotel Fire, July 1949
RECOVER 7 BODIES IN HOTEL FIRE.
Aberdeen, Wash. -- (INS) -- Seven charred bodies have been recovered from the fire-gutted second floor of the Lafayette Residential Hotel in Aberdeen, in which nine others were injured in an early morning flash fire.
Firemen on the scene within 50 seconds after the alarm found guests screaming at nearly every window, their escape cut off. 18 were brought down by ladder and several others escaped to the roof of an adjoining building. One woman jumped from the second floor, breaking her ankle.
30 to 35 guests were known to have been in the two-story stone structure. The hotel register was destroyed and firemen were still combing the ruins 12 hours later for possible additional victims. The landlord was among five identified dead.
Fire Chief CHARLES A. BORUM said flames started near the stairwell, cutting off the main exit. They swept up the stairs and into the hallways and out the skylight to the tar roof.
MRS. MARY ROBERTS, 80, her hair afire from a blazing window curtain, leaped to a ladder four feet under her window. She was caught by two patrolmen.
ELIZA BESHERS escaped once but returned to her room for a purse. She was found dead in a doorway clutching $48.77.
The dead are:
MRS. ELIZA BESHERS.
MRS. MARY KEARNS, 74.
MRS. MARY ABSHIRE.
All the above were permanent guests at the hotel.
PAUL MYHR, landlord.
Tentatively identified were bodies of MR. and MRS. EARL CHRISTOFFERSEN, 34, South Bend, Wash.
Long Beach Independent California 1949-07-04