Tuesday, March 04, 2008

One Hundred Years Ago

Collinwood School, before and after

One hundred years ago today 175 people, most of them school children, were killed in one of the deadliest disasters in the United States. The school caught fire and the lack of fire escapes and fire doors caused many children to be trapped in the burning building.

Collinwood Memorial Elementary School was built with fire safe stairwells, a central alarm system and other fire safe materials. A national effort resulted in public building doors being upgraded for fire safety including "panic bar" latches in schools.

If your kids ever complain about a fire drill at school, just say "thank you." The next time you push a panic bar that easily opens the door, think of these children, and be glad the community of Collinwood and then the nation learned from their tragedy and worked to reduce the chances of another disaster of this type.

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Michael said...

I went to an elementary school that looked like that, and it also burned down to the ground. Thankfully it was at night and no body was there.

Diane J Standiford said...

Good post, history is not given its due enough.