The Winecoff Hotel fire occured December 7, 1946, killing 119 people and injuring at least 90 more. The Winecoff was a15-story hotel downtown Atlanta, originally constructed in 1912; the building was advertised as "fireproof" due to its steel construction. According to building code regulations in 1912, as a building on a lot measuring less than 5,000 sqare feet, the hotel was only required to have one stairway. The fire was noticed around 3:15 a.m.; a bell boy had responded to a guest's room service call at 3:10, and, as he attempted to leave the guest's room five minutes later, he found the hallway was full of smoke, trapping him inside the room. The fire department was not called until 3:42. By this point, the single stairway was impassible. The first engine and ladder company arrived within 30 seconds. Fire department ladders were not long enough to reach the upper floors, and many people jumped from the upper windows. The spread of the fire was compounded by wooden transoms above guest room doors; rooms with open transoms readily allowed the fire to spread within. Other factors contributing to the fire's severity were the open stairway (fire doors on each floor would have prevented the fire's upward spread), lack of sprinklers or automated alarms, and combustible interior furnishings.
These links take you to the IFSI catalog. To request an item, click "Add to Request Bin." This takes you to a page where you can fill out the online request form and submit to the IFSI library. To request items, you must be an Illinois resident with a library card from an Illinois library.
In this video by DownhomeTraces, Sam Heys, author of the book The Wineoff Fire, describes the fire while standing in front of the hotel building.
For Information, Assistance, or User Training Contact:
Phone: 217-333-8925 or Toll Free: 800-437-5819
Fax: 217-333-8379 (Library) or 217-244-6792 (IFSI)
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monday – Friday
Lian Ruan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reference & User Training Librarian
Diane Richardson: email@example.com
Assistant Director for Library Operations
David Ehrenhart: firstname.lastname@example.org