Cocoanut Grove Fire…
Anyone leaving a department store may have wondered why a central revolving door is often flanked by hinged doors on either side.
That’s one legacy of the Cocoanut Grove Fire, where so many died as they tried to exit the club’s single revolving door.
On this day in 1942, 492 people (which was 32 more than the building’s authorized capacity) lost their lives at the Cocoanut Grove restaurant/supper club (nightclubs did not officially exist in Boston).
In less than 15 minutes, 492 people were dead and another 166 injured, making the blaze the deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history.
The official cause of the fire is undetermined but is rumored to have been caused by a busboy lighting a match to reinstall a light bulb, igniting a fake palm tree.