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    Default HappyLand Social Club Fire

    16 years ago today was the HappyLand social Club fire. When I was in college I had to do a paper on this fire, and Coconut Groave. Judging by what happed in RI a couple years ago, I guess not as much has changed as everyone would have liked.


    (CBS) The Bronx After working hard all week for modest wages, many Latino immigrants in the East Tremont section of The Bronx would forget their troubles on the crowded dance floor of the Happyland Social Club.



    Happyland was located on two floors above a row of stores. It was a tight space with just a single staircase leading in and out. It also was an illegal establishment; ordered closed by the city for building and fire violations. Orders that were ignored by the club's operators.



    After midnight on Sunday, March 25, 1990, Happyland was packed with young men and women, most of them new to the U.S. and still calling places like Honduras and Ecuador home.

    Just before 3 a.m., according to some who later remembered, a man argued loudly with a woman who worked in the club. He said in Spanish: "I'll be back."

    Less than an hour later, Happyland was an inferno. Eighty-seven people died that night, 61 men, 26 women, more than half of them under 25 years of age. Along the walls of the dancefloor, 68 bodies were piled, indicative of their desperate attempts to find a way out from the flames.

    The dead were asphyxiated or burned to death within minutes.

    Later on that Sunday, police arrested a man they said had set the blaze with gasoline after quarrelling with his girlfriend who worked as a ticket taker.



    Julio Gonzalez, an immigrant from Cuba, left the club drunk and walked to a nearby gas station where he bought a gallon of gas. He returned to the club and splashed the staircase and lit the gas.

    Investigators said Gonzalez wanted to kill his girlfriend in the fire. She was one of the few who survived.

    The fire resulted in a crackdown by the city on the hundreds of illegal social clubs and dance halls believed to be located in all five boroughs.



    Gonzalez went to trial later in 1990. After two days of deliberations, a jury found him guilty on all 174 counts - two counts for each victim -of murder. However, New York State law did not allow for a sentence greater than that for a single count of murder: 25 years to life.
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    Quiz time...what other infamous fire occured on the same date many years prior?

    FTM-PTB

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    The fire you are refering to (I wont give away the answer) probably had much greater impact on Fire Codes and Building Codes then the HappyLand fire. Although in the fire you are refering to, if Im not mistaken, the owners of the building were found not guilty of any negligence for having locked emergency doors, and walked away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    Quiz time...what other infamous fire occured on the same date many years prior?

    FTM-PTB

    Oooohhhh ooohhhhooooo... I know and yes, it did absolute wonders for pre-fire planning, building construction and safety code inovations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    Quiz time...what other infamous fire occured on the same date many years prior?

    FTM-PTB
    I believe there are 3 sides to this equation.....hehehehehe

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    Triangle Shirt Waist in Manhattan. NYU uses the building now.
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    If I remember correctly, they found the Happyland arsonist at home sleeping.

    Watching the news that morning, the thing that stuck out most in my mind was the sign that read HAPPYLAND (with a smiley face on it) and all of the bodies under sheets on the sidewalk.

    The fire at "the Station" in RI was at a "legal" establishment so it just goes to show you that it can happen anywhere.
    Tom

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    I agree with Vinnie B
    You need only two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the duct tape.

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    yeah, Vinnie was correct.
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    For all of the buffs out there, extra points if you can name the Chief of Department on that Triangle Shirtwaist fire.
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

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    Ed Croker.
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    What engine companies were first due at each fire? (For the real Buffs out there)
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    Correct! Here's one of his most famous quotes (I believe there is more to this quote but this is what is commonly cited):

    I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling. Our proudest moment is to save lives. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even of supreme sacrifice.
    -- Chief Edward F. Croker, FDNY
    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl
    What engine companies were first due at each fire? (For the real Buffs out there)
    I believe Engine 88 and Ladder 38 were first due to Happyland. I remember one time riding with them, and they cruised past, and they made a point to stop and point it out to me.
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    Is a Google Search considered cheating?

    Triangle Shirtwaist fire:

    Engine 72, Engine 18, Hook and Ladder 20 - the first fire companies to arrive at the scene - were forced to stop short of the building to avoid running over the bodies that were smoldering on the street. Young women, some with their hair and clothing aflame, were crashing through glass sidewalk vault lights and into the building's basement. Seasoned firefighters were astounded to see several civilians holding blankets open in a futile attempt to catch some falling victims. Later arriving engine and ladder companies did all they could to save as many workers as possible, but the majority of deaths had already occurred. The fire itself was extinguished within twenty minutes.

    Source: http://www.nycfiremuseum.org/inner/h...h_building.htm
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    CHEATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    At the Happyland Fire, I think 45 Engine was 1st due. NYSmokey, do some more cheating ( I mean googling) and see if you can help us out lol.
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    It should be E 45 L58, their firehouse is only about 2 blocks away.
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    Primary Google Search is negative!!
    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl
    CHEATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    At the Happyland Fire, I think 45 Engine was 1st due. NYSmokey, do some more cheating ( I mean googling) and see if you can help us out lol.
    I agree...How many would have remembered Engine Co. 72 was organized in Manhattan and not in Throgs Neck the Bronx?

    I thought the ticket for Southern Blvd would be E45 88 46 L58 38 R3 Bn 18

    FTM-PTB

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    Yeah that rundown looks right. 27 probably FAST and 90 engine 4th due maybe?
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    FFFRED,

    Do you agree that I am a cheater?

    Correct with the information?

    Or a little of both?
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

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    I recall watching the live news reports from the Bevely Hills Super Club Fire, as I was living in Ohio at the time. Another one for "the books".
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    I agree...How many would have remembered Engine Co. 72 was organized in Manhattan and not in Throgs Neck the Bronx?

    I thought the ticket for Southern Blvd would be E45 88 46 L58 38 R3 Bn 18

    FTM-PTB
    Yup. You guys are correct. Box 2974, E Tremont Ave & Southern Blvd E045 E088 E046 L058 L038 BN18 RS03
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff
    Yup. You guys are correct. Box 2974, E Tremont Ave & Southern Blvd E045 E088 E046 L058 L038 BN18 RS03
    You got the home eddition of Starfire on home PC?

    FTM-PTB

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    I'm not an FDNY Dispatcher, but I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    Hows this sound???

    ""Three One Nine Six is the telephone alarm for Valentine Avenue and One Eight Three Street reporting a fire on the fourth floor of the reported address XXXX Valentine Avenue..........Three Quarters from quarters.....Calling Thirty Three Truck, Kay....You got the run?"

    Calling Batallion One-Nine, bunch of calls, three, two, the rescue and the squad coming in, K...."
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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