Information Sought by Paper on Iroquois Fire for Disaster’s Centennial

posted by btkrefft on December 5, 2003 at 4:34 pm

CHICAGO, IL — To mark the 100th anniversary of one of Chicago’s worst tragedies, the December 30, 1903 blaze at Iroquois Theatre in the Loop, which claimed more than 600 lives, the Pioneer Press Online is seeking information from anyone who might have had stories of the fire handed down to them by relatives who survived or were at the scene in some capacity.

A standing-room only crowd of 1900 was in attendance at the Iroquois Theatre to watch Eddie Foy in a matinee showing of the popular “Mr. Bluebeard, Jr.” when a fire broke out onstage. The asbestos curtain failed to come all the way down, the theater’s doors only opened inward and people were told to remain seated as the band played on. Many of those who died were women and children, many families having come from the suburbs.

The theater was later rebuilt and reopened as the Colonial, but was demolished in 1925 to make way for the Oriental Theatre.

Those with information to share can contact Tom Ganz at either 708-524-4400 or 847-696-3216 by Dec. 16 or email him at .

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