On March 25, 1990, At about 4:00am, I was awakened by my scanner announcing that there were 6 10-45's Code 1's at a social club fire in the Bronx. I quickly got dressed and started out for E.Tremont ave & Southern Blvd. While en route the 10-45 count kept growing larger. First the dispatcher announced 12 10-45's then 24 10-45's. When I arrived at the scene the count was up to 50 10-45's. There was no fire or smoke showing, The fire was quickly knocked down. The terrible tragedy began when a jealous boyfriend poured a gallon of gasoline in the doorway of the social club. 87 people were killed. There were no other means to escape other than the front door, which was blocked by fire. A few survivors escaped by jumping through the flames, including the intended victim. The one story Social Club had a stairway that led up to a mezzanine level. Most of the victims were found on the stairway & in the mezzanine. There was no escape! ( A 10-45 is the FDNY radio code for a DOA).

EMS workers check some of the victims who were on the sidewalk in front of the Social Club.

Chief of Department Bill Feehan ( who was killed on 9-11-01) confers with The Fire Commissioner Carlos Rivera.

There was only one way out & that was blocked by the heavy fire condition. Notice the bars on the window!

At daybreak the magnitude of the disaster was circulating through the neighborhood, Many family members of the victims started to show up At the scene!

It was a tough day for firefighters and EMS workers! Too many needless deaths to deal with, The identification process took hours.

An EMS worker comforts his co worker!

Photo taken of the scene from a nearby rooftop.

Mayor Dinkins is briefing Reporters at the scene.

Click Here to go to the Fires and Disasters Photo Page


[Return to Main page]