Category Archives: Fires

Aug. 9, 1947: 2 Firefighters Die Fighting Big Tujunga Canyon Blaze

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project. Their names were Carl Joseph Masterson and Edward Jerome Duffy, who went by the nickname Harry. Carl was 40, born in Kansas and lived at 1032 … Continue reading

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Aug. 3, 1907: Gasoline Stove Explodes, Destroys House

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. Aug. 3, 1907 Los Angeles An enormous explosion shattered the night in the Dayton Heights neighborhood near what is now Virgil Avenue and Middlebury Street. “The shock of the explosion awakened people … Continue reading

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July 25, 1907: Fire Burns Foothill Bridge, Main Route From Monrovia to L.A.

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. July 25, 1907 Arcadia, Calif. Despite the efforts of 75 volunteer firefighters, a blaze rapidly consumed a 150-foot wooden bridge on Foothill Boulevard over the Santa Anita between Arcadia and Monrovia.

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July 17, 1907: Hollywood Organizes to Catch Serial Arsonist

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. July 17, 1907 Los Angeles A serial arsonist has been at work in Hollywood, setting six fires in the last three weeks. The community’s small volunteer fire department has been overwhelmed by … Continue reading

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June 27, 1907: New to America, Wife Mistakes Gasoline for Coffee in Making Husband’s Breakfast

Note: This is an encore post from 2006. June 27, 1907 Los Angeles Louise arrived in Los Angeles three months ago from Norway with her four young children. She met a man who worked in San Pedro (we only know … Continue reading

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Black L.A. 1947: Huge Blast Kills 17, Show Dangers of Industry Moving Into Black Neighborhoods

Feb. 20, 1947: An aerial view of the devastation from the explosion at the O’Connor Electroplating Corp.,  926 E. Pico Blvd.  Los Angeles Public Library Herald Examiner collection. The site of the O’Connor Electroplating explosion via Google Satellite View. The … Continue reading

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Found on EBay: Souvenir of Club Mecca, Site of Deadly 1957 Firebombing

A vendor has listed a cocktail napkin advertising four Los Angeles night spots, including the Mecca Cafe at 5841 S. Normandie Ave. Six people were killed when a man who had been thrown out of the club threw a five-gallon … Continue reading

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Jan. 4, 1947: Angry Sailor Sets Fire to Skid Row Hotel After Being Rolled

Note: This is a post I wrote in 2006 for the 1947Project. Jan. 4, 1947: Suppose, for a moment, that you are a 19-year-old mess cook second class stationed in San Pedro. Suppose further that while you are on leave … Continue reading

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Hollywoodland Survives 1961 Fire

California is suffering its worst fire fall season in decades, after the huge Santa Rosa-Sonoma conflagration a few months ago, and the blazes surrounding the Los Angeles area over the past week. The Skirball fire itself, which has burned around … Continue reading

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1957 Club Mecca Firebombing in South L.A. Kills 6

5841 S. Normandie, the site of the Club Mecca bombing, as photographed in 2007. April 7, 1957, the Los Angeles Times publishes an extra on the Club Mecca firebombing.   The tragic warehouse fire in Oakland, which has killed at … Continue reading

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1944 in Print — Hollywood Gossip by Louella Parsons, March 6, 1944

March 6, 1944 JACK BENNY HASN’T reached his place in the sun as a top comedian without good reason, and that is real ability. We were all reminded again of Jack’s spontaneous wit at the Academy Awards program. He was … Continue reading

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The Deadly Inferno

Note: I’m reposting an item for newer readers that I originally wrote in 2006 for the 1947project. Oct. 26, 1907: Two women in the West Adams District were badly burned and expected to die after a bowl of gasoline they … Continue reading

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Black Doctor in Divorce Case Says Wife Tried to ‘Masquerade’ as White

July 23, 1923: The centennial of the Monroe Doctrine is celebrated at Exposition Park in the American Historical Revue and Motion Picture Exposition.. The U.S. Mint in San Francisco issued commemorative half dollars for the occasion. The Times says: “One … Continue reading

Posted in 1823, 1923, African Americans, Art & Artists, Broadway, Comics, Crime and Courts, Downtown, Fires, Hill Street, Hollywood, Theaters | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Buck Jones Among Hundreds Killed in Cocoanut Grove Nightclub Fire

Nov. 30, 1942: Saying “My hands are trembling all over this typewriter keyboard,” Associated Press writer Harry C. Glasheen writes of his experiences covering Boston’s Cocoanut Grove fire, which had a final death toll of 492 people, including Western movie … Continue reading

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Fire Chief Injured in Blaze

A lot of five photos showing the Jan. 23, 1913, fire at the Los Angeles Wallpaper and Paint Co., 529 S. Main St., has been listed on EBay. The blaze injured Fire Chief Archibald “Archie” J. Eley and 18 men, … Continue reading

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‘A Terrible Roar,’ Oct. 1, 1910

Courtesy of University of Southern California, on behalf of the USC Special Collections. Oct. 1, 1910: The Times Building in flames, as seen from Broadway just south of First Street. Notice The Times Eagle outlined by the fire. El Alisal, … Continue reading

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Found on EBay – Wildfire

This dramatic postcard showing a huge wildfire, as seen from Mt. Lowe, has been listed on EBay. We have a cycle of natural disasters in Southern California: Heavy rains around December produce mudslides >> The rains bring spring greenery >> … Continue reading

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