Fire fighters in action

A black-and-white, mostly silent, film of firefighters battling the blaze at the 52-year-old Norton Hotel on February 6, 1967.

The hotel was located on the edge of the Zumbro River, on Second Street Southeast. Several people were injured as they jumped to escape the flames and several people were found dead in their rooms the following day.

The firefighters were hampered by the extreme cold weather, with a high temperature of 12 degrees below zero, and ice that formed over everything. The hotel had no sprinkler system and the fire provided impetus to install sprinklers in businesses.

The following events take place in the film at the indicated time in minutes and seconds:

(00:27) Fire Chief Ollie Mertz in the white coat.
• (01:42) When ladder truck #32 arrives, it was driver Bill Haas' first day on the job.
• (02:00) Fireman with his hat off is Bob Fanning.
• (03:37) Firemen Buske and Mertz drinking coffee.
• (03:43) Survivor Wayne describes how he got out of the hotel and there is sound for his interview.
• (05:04) February 7th, 1967 investigators are able to clear those who were killed from the building and start looking for causes of the blaze.

The video will look grey. You must click the play arrow; (looks like a white triangle facing to the right) to see the video. A few seconds in, you will see the action; the bullet points above tell you what you will see after several seconds or minutes and seconds.  When you have seen the video, you will have to close the tab (Norton Hotel Fire...) tab by clicking the (X) in that tab at the top of your browser window.

Similarly, when you have made your donation, close the DONATE tab by clicking the (X).

Click here to see the video.
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