Memorial Monday – Hotel Vendome Fire (MA)

Incident Date: June 17, 1972
Department: Boston Fire Department (MA)
Number of Line-of-Duty Deaths: 9

Boston Fire Alarm received a call on Box 1571, at 2:35 pm on Saturday, June 17, 1972, for a fire at the former Hotel Vendome in Back Bay, which was under renovation. Fire raged in this seven-story building for three hours. The fire would climb to four alarms bringing 16 engines, five ladders, two aerial towers, and one heavy rescue and their crews to the scene.

During overhaul operations the five-story southeast section of the hotel collapsed, sending firefighters into the street below. It also heavily damaged the Maxim ladder truck from Ladder Company 15. The collapse would claim the lives of nine firefighters and injure eight others. Firefighters worked to rescue and recover their fellow firefighters for over ten hours.

This was not only a devastating loss for the department, but it left eight widows and 25 children without their fathers. The Hotel Vendome Fire remains the deadliest firefighting accident in Boston Fire Department’s over 300-hundred-year history.

Firefighters Who Died in the Collapse:




More About Memorial Monday

Memorial Monday is established to remember the sacrifice of firefighters who died in the line of duty before the National Memorial was created in 1981. On the last Monday of every month, a firefighter, or groups of firefighters, will be remembered through information located about the firefighter and their sacrifice.