Don't Panic: The Psychology of Emergency Egress and Ingress

By Jerome M. Chertkoff; Russell H. Kushigian | Go to book overview

Chapter 5
Hartford Circus Fire, July 6, 1944

The afternoon of Thursday, July 6, 1944, in Hartford, Connecticut, was hot and sunny, with a breeze out of the west. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus had a matinee performance that day outside, under the big top.

The previous day the circus had been several hours late in arriving from a performance in Providence, Rhode Island. Consequently, the matinee performance on July 5 had to be canceled. When a building inspector from the Building Commission of Hartford had gone to the circus grounds at about 11:00 A.M. on July 5, the big top had not been set up yet. He returned at around 3:45 P.M. and spent roughly an hour inspecting the facilities. He "was satisfied that erection of tent, construction of seats and exits complied as in previous years" ( Hickey, 1945, p. 5).

The Hartford Fire Department had no legal authority to inspect the circus grounds. In fact, the fire department was never officially notified that the circus was performing in Hartford.

The Hartford police chief assigned 55 officers to the performance. They were there primarily to control vehicle traffic and to provide protection against theft and vandalism. They were not there to help regulate pedestrian traffic, and none were stationed inside the big top.

The circus itself had limited fire-fighting equipment: 14 water pails, a few fire extinguishers, and four water trucks, used normally to dampen dust. There were no fire drills and no training in fire-fighting techniques.

The big top was aptly named. The giant tent was 425 feet long and 180 feet wide, encompassing over an acre and a half (see Figure 6). The seating capacity was 9,048. There were 6,048 reserved seats in four center sections, two on the north side and two on the south side. A substantial number of these seats were freestanding folding chairs. There were 3,000 general admission seats, in two sections at the west end and two sections at the east end. The stands in each section were 16 to 18 rows deep, about 10 1/2 feet above ground level at the rear.

-47-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Don't Panic: The Psychology of Emergency Egress and Ingress
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 145

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.