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coconut grove fire (Case Study Sample)


The task was a case study describing the coconut grove fire in Boston, united states, in 1942. the paper was organized from the abstract then broken down in relation to the events that occurred during the fire incident. Description of the building involved, the facts and findings from the authorities, the response and aftermath of the event.
the paper was 1.5 spaced and apa referencing style.


Cocoanut Grove Fire
My research paper will be on the Cocoanut Grove Fire of 1942. Cocoanut Grove was one of the best entertaining nightclubs in Boston. Cocoanut Grove was built in 1927 by the famous mafia, and it occupied approximately ten thousand square feet. That huge building contains bars and a dancing area and main dining room, and a basement. It is known that Cocoanut Grove only opens during the evening time because it is the time when most customers come to drink alcohol or dance on the main floor. Many witnesses who were inside Melody Lounge, which is in the basement, say that the cause of the fire was an electrical short. This happened when one of the workers wanted to change the lighting, so he used to match to see. Unfortunately, this was the beginning of the terrifying scene, and the flames spread throughout the building in a short time. Also, one of the areas in Cocoanut Grove had an open roof to let the customers enjoy looking at the moon and stars. As a result, the open area allowed the fire to spread rapidly in a way that the customers did not have enough time to evacuate from the building.
We can say that Cocoanut Grove is the deadliest nightclub fire to have ever occurred in the history of the United States. In addition, the owner of Cocoanut Grove had a connection with some mafia because he had taken the building from them. Also, we say it is extremely rapid fire compared to how the fire started in the first place. This event raised many questions in the safety field due to the unreasonable rapid growth rate of fire. Also, how did all these people get stuck inside the building, which caused the death of 492 victims? With these questions, I got more curious and excited to investigate what happened in Cocoanut Grove.
This paper describes the whole event of the fire, which led to the deaths of many people in the building. It also describes where the fire occurred and led to the destruction of properties and loss of lives. The paper will then describe the fire as it happened in the building by explaining the reports on its origin, how it got up, and who the persons were at the time of the fire onset. The main reasons the fire spread in the building will also be discussed in the paper. Since the death toll was very high, I will seek to understand and present why the fire spread so fast that it caught the people unaware. As the fire grew and continued to burn, I will also describe and find out what the fire department operations did or attempted to do to ensure the fire did not spread so much. This investigation will also bring out the reasons why the fire department failed or did not fully be in capacity to contain the fire, which led to the deaths of so many individuals in the nightclub. There were also civilians and other agencies that tried to assist in extinguishing the fire. The paper also describes the cases of death for those individuals who lost their lives in nightclubs. In times of tragedies like this involving a massive number of people in one designated place like a nightclub or a stadium, the cause of deaths may not necessarily be as a result of a fire occurrence but also be a result of many other causative factors such as stampedes, falls, shock and other factors. The extent of damages caused by the fire other than causing loss of lives will also be described after investigations in this paper. The paper will conclude by giving out recommendations that can be incorporated in other places like that nightclub, which can be adopted by safety authorities and construction companies when constructing places similar to the coconut grove design or any place that is usually visited by a lot of people for fun such as stadiums and arenas.
Building Description
The premise of the fire occurrence was a nightclub. The nightclub was owned by a lawyer who had ties with mafias. The owner is also said to have a close friend with the mayor of the town. This proximity to the city’s mayor made the authorities turn a blind to any offense it did. This closeness made the owner save on the taxes by ignoring the necessary rectifications on the building, which were against the safety violations. The club was originally a warehouse and a garage, and it had to undergo several renovations to become the so-called Coconut Grove nightclub. The original premise capacity was about 460 persons. But it was reported that on the day of the tragedy, the nightclub was packed up to an estimated thousand persons. The building was a one-story reinforced with concrete. There was a basement beneath the building, which contained a bar, freezers, a kitchen, and storage areas. The bar was called Melody Lounge. On the first floor of the building were the large dining area and a ballroom that contained a bandstand. There were other separate bars that were separate from the main ballroom on the first floor. This dining room contained a retractable roof, which was used during the warm weather periods for the people to have clear views of the stars and moon. The main entrance to the premises was the revolving door located on Piedmont Street, which was located on one side of the building.
Facts and Findings
The tragedy occurred on the 28th Saturday, 1942. During this time, the entertainers, staff, and patrons were dancing and dining at the nightclub. A busboy was then ordered to fix a lightbulb in the basement. The lightbulb was located at the top of an artificial palm tree at Melody Lounge. The bulb was believed to be unscrewed by some partners who were seeking more intimacy in the basement. But the area where the busboy was supposed to fix the bulb was somehow dark. This led to the lighting of a match in order to facilitate locating the position of the socket for the lightbulb. A few moments later, there were flickers of flame that were visible to the patrons in the basement of the club. As moments progressed, the patrons saw the colors of the decorations changing and appeared to be burning up. This was, however, without a flame that could be noticed. The palm trees then burst into flames moments later. The immediate patrons tried to extinguish the fire with water and some seltzer bottles. Furnishings started to get ignited, making fireballs of flames and toxic gas move across the room into the stairs. Attempts o open the emergency exit door located at the top of the stairs were unsuccessful. There was a wild panic on the premises. The fireball reached the foyer area very fast, and this was the place where restrooms, coatrooms, and the main entrance were located.
The fireball burst into the dining room area. This dining area was one where the majority of the patrons were awaiting the later planned show. There were many small tables and chairs in that dining room. In the melody lounge, panic ravaged the area prompting the attendees to find exits. These attempts made most of the exits inaccessible and blocked, and some were not easily recognized. The fire had now taken over the premises, the temperature had risen tremendously, and the toxic gas levels were increasing. Some of the witnesses described the fire as bluish or yellowish in color. The cries of “Fire” by people made tensions rise, prompting more people to move to the exits. This made the main door, the revolving door, become jammed. The panic by the patrons caused this event of jamming. The people outside could not help as they watched others being crushed in the crowd and others surging against the jammed revolving door. Many men and women crawled on the floor to find the available exits. Many of the people trying to find their way out of the building were burnt and sustained injuries on their heads; some even had their hair ignited and burned.
A lot of people who escaped were assisted by the employees through the back exits, which were also very dark during the fire incident. The lights had gone out when the fire started burning the place down. Other people hid inside the large meat lockers and refrigerators. Others were able to open the blocked exit doors and escape from the dining room. The rapid spread of fire caused toxic smoke and intense heat inside the Grove, rendering zero chances for most of the patrons to survive. A nearby newly established lounge made an escape route for some of the patrons. But since the door was an inward opening, the weight of the fleeing patrons made the door shut and caused the exit to be shut completely. Other people who knew the Grove well escaped through the windows and the back areas.
Response and Rescue Operations
The Boston Fire Department received the news, and firefighters arrived and investigated the fire on Stuart Street. The fire was extinguished, but they noticed smoke coming from the Grove. The onlookers ran to report the fire to them, and upon their arrival, they found heavy smoke emanating from the building. The firefighters saw people escaping from the building. Emergency vehicles and fire apparatus quickly flocked the street where Grove was located. The fire was extinguished fast, but there was extensive damage already done to the building. The rescue operations commenced with immediate effect. Getting inside the Grove was proving to be difficult as the firefighters came across stacks of bodies, both dead and living. The disaster was realized to be of magnitude size, and this prompted the call for help from the Army, Navy, National Guard, and Coast Guard. They assisted in the removal and evacuation of the injured and dead.
The transportation mode for the victims to the nearby hospitals was using the newspaper delivery trucks nearby. Most of the victims were taken to the Boston City Hospital. There was a creation of a temporary morgue near the Grove. There were new treatment methods to treat internal injuries and burns. Other presume...

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