1876 – Brooklyn Theater fire

The Brooklyn Theater Fire was one of the worst theatre fires in the history of the United States, with at least 278 people, and possibly more than 300 people, killed. 103 of the victims were so badly burnt that they could not be identified, and were buried in a common grave in Green-Wood Cemetery.

Most of the deaths occurred in the family circle – the highest and cheapest seats in the building, which had only one staircase leading from them. As the fire grew, temperatures in this area rose to unbearable levels long before the flames reached it, and trapped smoke led to many of the deaths, although the crush of the stairway also led to injuries and fatalities. Compounding these problems, the flames burned so high and so fast that there was little firefighters could do until they had died down enough that they could be fought – too late for most of the people still inside.

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1876 — Wakey!Wakey!