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Evicted by deadly Barclay Hotel fire

Evicted by deadly Barclay Hotel fire

March 16, 1972: Leo Altoonian, 85, waits in the lobby of the fire-damaged Barclay Hotel for his turn to get belongings out of his room. He is moving to the Clark Hotel.

Staff writer David Shaw reported on the fire in the March 15, 1972, Los Angeles Times:

Three persons were killed and seven others injured early this morning when fire raced through the sixth floor of the 76-year-old Barclay Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Four other guests were unaccounted for after a room-by-room search, but firemen weren’t certain those guests had been in the hotel this morning.

Most of the 132 guests in the hotel at 103 W. 4th St. scampered down the stairways to safety but firemen had to rescue more than 40. Some were escorted down the stairs, others — including a blind man — were pulled to safety through their room windows, then carried down ladders to the streets ….

The fire that caused $65,000 damage broke out shortly before 7 a.m., quickly spread throughout the sixth floor and into the attic and was under control by 7:36 a.m.

The photo above by staff photographer John Malmin was published on Page 1 of the March 17, 1972, Los Angeles Times. The photo below, also by Malmin, accompanied Shaw’s story on Page 1 of the March 15, 1972, Times.

 March 15, 1972: Smoke billows from sixth-floor fire at Barclay Hotel at 4th and Main streets. Three people were killed. Credit: John Malmin/Los Angeles Times.

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1 Comment

  1. June 28, 2014, 12:24 am

    Great photography. Top photo is an excellent portrait, and bottom photo is a nearly perfect news photo – it tells the whole story: There was a fire, at the Hotel Barclay, police responded, fire responded with rescue ladders, there was local reaction on the street. In this new age of phone video, this shows what good photography looks like.

    By: Mac Daddy

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