Our Lady of Angels school appears to be the worst school massacre in U. S history. This took place on Monday 1 of December 1958 in Chicago’ s Iinois during a fire break just before the closing hour for the day.
The school is located at 909 North Avers Avenue in the Humboldidt Park area of Chicago’ s west side. Among Chicago’ s Roman Catholics, the school was associated with other structures that included a church, a rectory adjacent to the church, and a convent run by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Mary across the street from the school.
Others include two structures named Joseph and Mary, which are located a block east of Hamlin Avenue.
It happened at 2: 00 p. m. , an hour before the building’ s closing time, in the basement of the older north wing. It was said to have taken place in a cardboard trash barrel closer to the northeast stairwell and gradually heating and burning the stairs was well accomplished with smoke that filled the whole stairs.
While this was happening, three eight- grade girls, named Janet Delaria, Frances Guzaldo and Karen Hobik, were returning from an errand to their class room on the second floor where the fire had almost penetrated and was filled with smoke. The girls could tell the smoke was in danger because there was no way to get away from them.
However, they started coughing, trying to move into the rear door of Room 211, which was their class, in order to notify their class teacher, O’ Neill, by name.
Deliria was able to survive the fire among her two class mates, while O’ Neill tried to escape with her sister students from the front door, from the class room to the hallway. Which looks difficult since the whole building was filled with smoke and flame before the school’ s fire alarm rang.
The fire was able to burn more than expected thanks to books, wooden desks, and petroleum wax on the floor.
In school, everyone flees for his or her life. Junior James Raymond dashed to the furnace room to investigate the problem and to warn other students who were emptying trash cans to leave the area immediately. He dashed to the rectory and asked the housekeeper to summon the fire department.
Meanwhile, the school principal who was teaching waiting to hear instruction before convening the students out of the building was holding a class in place of a teacher that was absent.
The call to the fire department was received at 2: 42 p. m after Raymond instructed the housekeeper. Barbaka Glowacki had made the second call to the department to get notice of the outbreak after noticing flames in the north stairwell, though the police did not suspect her of being the cause of the outbreak until she explained herself better.
After this great disaster, schools were built in a standard form around the U. S to prevent a second fire outbreak in the future, both in private and public schools. The lives of 95 students were estimated to be death, but casualties were undetermined due to building damage.