Excellent article on this epic tragedy.

Midwest Mary

When I was a child, my family lived across the street from Our Lady of Angels Church in Chicago. The Our Lady of Angels School stood on the opposite side of the church. On December 1, 1958 a small fire quickly accelerated into a massive torch consuming the old building and claiming 92 children and 3 nuns.

I was only four years old but the memories are vividly etched in my brain – the thick black smoke, fire engines and flashing lights through the late afternoon and evening, and most of all, the street filled with body bags.

Two years later I attended first grade in the new Our Lady of the Angels school along with upper classmates physically and emotionally scarred from the fire. Their hand-me-down coats and books reeked with smoke. Those students and a neighborhood of tearful parents were a constant reminder of what the fire stole…

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