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Thread: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

  1. #1
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    FCB mentioned the BHSC fire of 1977 in a different thread. As I posted, I remember seeing the news coverage of it from that night, but only vaguely.

    Anybody here around Cincy at the time? Sounds like it was a pretty happening place to see and been seen. Anybody been there? Remember that night? In town when it happened?

    My band teacher in jr. high school was there that night but didn't like to talk about it that much. Several of the friends in his party didn't make it out. A past coworker remembers seeing the glow of the fire against the night sky from his home across the river in Cincy.

    Here's some background for those who have no idea what I'm talking about. Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire from Wikipedia.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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  3. #2
    Paper Gods! KittyDuran's Avatar
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    Jul 2000
    Hamilton, Ohio

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    That was the night of my HS graduation in SE KY. We came back to Hamilton after that and you could see the smoke and glow of the fire (or at least I think that's what it was) from I-75. Supposedly, my aunt lived near a couple who were at the club that night - the wife died and a few months later the husband remarried! :thumbdown

    My parents had been there a few times - they said it was nice.
    2015 Reds record when I'm attending: 9-19 FINAL
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    "We want to be the band to dance to when the bomb drops." - Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran

  4. #3
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Apr 2001
    Oakwood, OH

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    Strange... I used wikipedia to read about the details on this about a month or so ago. I saw something about the Great White club fire and they mentioned this fire. I was a kid at the time of the fire, but I remember when it happened. It was huge news at the time. I can remember reading/seeing stories in the paper at the time and wondered how so many people could die in a fire. I thought, "Why didn't they just get out of the building?" Being a kid I didn't understand. I can also remember my parents telling me that their butcher's wife perished in the fire. Very tragic.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  5. #4
    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Jun 2000

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    My parents were pretty familiar with the place. On the night of the fire, they said that it seemed entirely possible that people could get confused and lose their way trying to get out. Also, my dad said the place was always packed with people, with a lot of chairs, tables, etc. cluttering hallways throughout the place. It was the picture perfect definition of a fire trap. From what I remember, the fire produced a lot of dense smoke in a hurry; survivors described it being black as night inside the place.
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

  6. #5
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Oct 2000

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    Queen was on Don Kirschners Rock Show the night that the fire happened, I kid you not, my friend and I were psyched to see them perform their new hit... Bohemian Rhapsody.

    As for the Supper Club my folks had gone there the week before IIRC.

  7. #6
    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Land of the Lost

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    Here's what I remember, which is not much, because I was six at the time, it was a very strange night and I was a tired little kid. I know we were in the area the night of the fire. I think we were on our way back from a family trip to Texas. But I remember first hearing about it over the car radio. My most vivid visual memory was seeing the sky glowing behind the trees, I think we saw it on TV after reaching my aunt's house to stay the night. For some time afterwards, I would be worried about my parents whenever they went out to dinner.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  8. #7
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    West N. Carolina

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    My Mother in law told me how she and her bowling team had been there about 10 days before the fire having a party.
    Go Gators!

  9. #8
    La Dolce Vita
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    Our one-time landlady and her two daughters were killed in that fire.
    teach tolerance.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Edgewood, KY

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    I was there with my brother and my sister & her husband about a week or two before the fire to see Sha-Na-Na (yeah, they had a lame TV show but what a GREAT band they were back then). The place was beautiful.

    I grew up about 5 miles from there and remember the calls coming in on my dad's police scanner. The first calls were calling for backup for a possible small kitchen fire at The Beverly Hills Supper Club. Of course it escalated out of control within 2-3 minutes of the first call. Here is some more information on how the events transpired from The Cincinnati Post in 1997 on the 20th anniversary:

    Timeline to disaster
    8 p.m. - On a warm, Saturday night on Memorial Day weekend, the Beverly Hills Supper Club is crowded with between 2,400 and 2,800 people.
    8:15 - Patrons in the Zebra Room begin complaining about the heat.
    8:35 - The wedding reception in the Zebra Room at the front of the club breaks up early. The room is hot, and the consensus is that the air conditioning must be on the fritz. But behind the walls and the thin plywood paneling, the disaster is beginning. The wiring is smoldering.
    8:50 - A reservations clerk smells smoke. She follows the aroma to the Zebra Room, opens the door and sees the fire. She alerts a fellow bartender, who grabs a fire extinguisher. He immediately returns, tells a waitress to call the fire department, and yells, ''Let's get the people out of here.''
    9 p.m. - Wayne Dammert, the banquet captain, begins to lead some 220 people from the Crystal Rooms upstairs. The fire has spread up the spiral stairs, blocking off the main exit. Dammert leads the group through the kitchen to safety.
    9 p.m. - In the Cabaret Room, busboy Walter Bailey jumps on stage to announce a ''small fire'' and ask people to leave. Many stay where they are, thinking it is part of the Jim Teeter and Jim McDonald comedy act.
    9 p.m. - The headliner, John Davidson, is waiting for the opening act to end so his show can begin.
    9:01 - The Campbell County dispatch center logs the first call - a fire at the Beverly Hill Supper Club.
    9:02 - The fire is roaring down the corridor through the Crystal Room. Smoke comes in the air ducts, quickly filling the room with thick, oily black smoke. A fireball sweeps inside. Panic ensues. Some 1,200 screaming people are pushing toward the three small exits, throwing chairs and tables out of their paths. Some are climbing from table to table, stepping over others.
    9:15 - The lawn outside the club begins to fill with gasping, singed patrons who have escaped. Inside, many are trapped inside the Cabaret Room.
    9:25 - The fire grows in strength. Wooden timbers beging crashing inside. The glow from the windows resembles an burning furnace.
    9:45 - Lifeless bodies are pulled from the Cabaret Room.
    10:15 - The fire is at full strength. Rescue units from throughout the area converge on Southgate. The streets are blocked off to all but emergency vehicles.
    10:40 - The full extent of the tragedy is becoming apparent. Bodies are covered with turquoise sheets. Three people are arrested for stealing from the dead bodies.
    11:15 - Five people, presumed dead, emerge alive from the club, which is still burning.
    12:10 a.m. - Firemen confirm 120 dead.
    12:25 - The building is collapsing as the fire continues to blaze.
    1:16 - The first bodies are brought to the temporary morgue set up at the Ft. Thomas Armory.
    2 a.m. Although a few, small, stubborn fires remain, fireman have the blaze under control. By morning, all that is standing is the front facade and some outside walls.

    From the corner of my street 5 miles as you looked in the direction of Southgate, the sky was orange that night.

    I have a bar in the lower level of my house and have a few china plates as well as some gambling chips and a brochure advertising Pearl Baily coming to Beverly Hills displayed there. Such an enormous tragedy and it was also such a great historical loss. I remember seeing Joe DiMaggio on Johnny Carson one night and hementioned being in Cincinnati for an exhibition game and spending his night at The Lookout House (also lost to fire in the early 70s, though it was vacant due to renovations) and Beverly Hills.

    I got to go there twice as a young teen and was just amazed by the place.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Edgewood, KY

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    Here is a list of the 165 adults and teen-agers, plus two unborn fetuses, who lost their lives in the 1977 Beverly Hills Supper Club fire:

    Marian Adkins, 62, Ashland, Ky.
    Amelia Arthur, 65, Covington
    William Arthur, 57, Covington
    Walter W. Backus, 50, Cincinnati
    Ruth Backus, 49, Cincinnati
    Warren Baker, 54, Dayton, Ohio
    Jean Baker, 52, Dayton
    Daniel Barker, no age, Trenton, Ohio
    Mabel Barker, 56, Trenton
    Martin Barker, 59, Trenton
    John Beavers, 28, Grove City, Ohio
    Ann L. Beer, 23, Oxford, Ohio
    Donald Bezold, 33, Alexandria, Ky.
    Patricia Bezold, 30, Alexandria
    Barbara Bohrer, 23, Delhi, Ohio
    Mary L. Bohrer, 55, Cincinnati
    Thomas Bohrer, 25, Cincinnati
    Jane Bohrer, 16, Cincinnati
    Judy Bohrer, 28, Cincinnati
    Raymond Bohrer, 56, Cincinnati
    Doris Brown, 45, Kettering, Ohio
    James K. Brown, 47, Lexington
    Patricia Brown, no age, Lexington
    Charlotte Burns, 58, Ashland, Ky.
    Robert Burns, 60, Ashland
    Maxine Butler, 56, Ashland
    Roy Butler, 49, Ashland
    Howard Carson Sr., 69, Covington
    Josephine Carson, 65, Covington
    Helen Castelli, no age, Crittenden, Ky.
    Norbert Castelli, 55, Crittenden
    Stewart Coakley, 37, Ludlow, Ky.
    Geraldine Cole, 22, Jeffersonville, Ky.
    Ellen Cooksey, 58, Ashland
    Fred Cooksey, 62, Ashland
    Carol Cottongim, 32, Hamilton, Ohio
    Robert Cottongim, 34, Hamilton
    Orville Coulter, 68, Ironton, Ohio
    James Cox, no age, Florence, Ky.
    James Crane, 19, Waynesville, Ohio
    Harold Daly, 32, Washington Court House, Ohio
    Rosemary Dischar, 38, Highland Heights, Ky.
    Gloria Sue Duncel, 37, Hamilton
    Rosemary Dwyer, 57, Lexington
    Mary N. Dwyer, 25, Lexington
    Sheila Dwyer, 22, Lexington
    Elmer Ellison, 60, Covington
    Nora Ellison, 38, Covington
    Grace Fall, 48, Middletown, Ohio
    William Fawbush Sr., 70, PeeWee Valley, Ky.
    Marilyn Finch, 41, Elsmere
    Virginia Fitch, 62, Ashland
    Helen Floyd, 62, Ashland
    James Fowler, 57, Ironton
    Anna Freshner, 61, Lebanon
    Fredrica Fryman, 35, Cynthiana, Ky.
    Scott Fryman, no age, Cynthiana
    Tracy Fryman, 17, Cynthiana
    Willard Fryman, 38, Cynthiana
    Lenore Gentry, 31, Cincinnati
    Anna Gorham, 46, Lexington
    Allen Gorham, 46, Lexington
    Russell Gray, 23, Cincinnati
    Carol Greer, 31, Florence
    Frank Greer, 33, Florence
    Clarence Gripshover, no age/hometown
    Don Grogan, 51, Murray, Ky.
    Felton Harrison, 73, Dayton
    Douglas Herro, 27, Canoga Park, Calif.
    Harry Hodges II, 29, Columbus, Ohio
    Barbara Hous, 51, Trotwood, Ohio
    Dottie Isaacs, 67, Dayton
    Mary L. Ittel, 58, Hamilton
    Ruth John, 59, Ashland
    Lillian Jutzi, 58, Dayton
    Raymond Jutzi, 67, Dayton
    Robert Kettman, 34, Cincinnati
    Susan Kettman, 33, Cincinnati
    Tammy Kincer, 18, Lebanon
    Lucy King, 57, Hamilton
    Paul Kiser, 54, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
    Minnie Knight, 70, Germantown, Ohio
    Donald Koontz, 48, Hamilton
    Dorothy Koontz, 46, Hamilton
    Carl Krigbaum, 55, Louisville
    Diane Lape, 25, Cincinnati
    Etta Leis, 70, Miamisburg
    Gary Littrell, 50, Bright, Ind.
    Sharon Littrell, 26, Bright, Ind.
    Leona Long, 72, Dayton
    James Lyon, 42, Ft. Mitchell, Ky.
    Monica Lyon, 42, Ft. Mitchell
    Margaret Malowan, 54, Dayton
    Sharlene Matthews, 27, Cincinnati
    Clark Mayfield, 35, Jacksonville, Ala.
    Sara McClain, 72, Miamisburg
    Collis Mitchell, 50, Dayton
    Minda Moford, 16, Dover, Ky.
    Agnes Muddiman, 48, Cheviot, Ohio
    Everett Neill, 27, Ft. Mitchell
    Paula Neill, 23, Ft. Mitchell
    Jean Darelene Noe, 28, Taylor Mill, Ky.
    Mildred Overton, 62, Huntington, W.Va.
    Ruth Patterson, 67, Coal Grove, Ohio
    Harold Penwell Jr., 28, Dayton
    Hilma Catherine Pfieffer, 64, Dayton
    Lawrence Phelps, 44, Lakeside Park, Ky.
    Margaret Phillips, 65, Dayton
    Alberta Pieper, 49, Louisville
    Mary L. Pitsenbarger, 55, Greenville, Ohio
    Nolan Pitsenbarger, 62, Greenville
    Richard Pokky, 23, Cincinnati
    Dorothy Polley, 72, Ironton
    George Polley, 74, Ironton
    Ethel Prugh, 55, West Carrollton, Ohio
    L.J. Prugh, 56, West Carrollton
    Gary Prugh, 30, Washington Twp., Ohio
    Virginia Raitt, 34, West Chester, Ohio
    Virginia Ramler, 52, Erlanger
    Anna L. Reinike, 59, Kettering
    Nell Reynolds, 71, Louisville
    Elma Rhinehart, 74, Lewisburg, Ohio
    Charles Rist, 59, Catlettsburg, Ky.
    Maymia Rist, 57, Catlettsburg
    Robert Roden Jr., no age, Taylor Mill
    Terri Rose, 26, Deer Park, Ohio
    Alma Schnapp, 67, Miamisburg
    Joseph Schrantz, 63, Green Twp., Ohio
    Mary A. Schrantz, 61, Green Twp.
    Rosalie Schuman, 33, Lawrenceburg, Ind.
    Robert Seaman, 57, Erlanger
    Percy Shepherd, 64, Cincinnati
    Charles Sherwood, 54, Dayton
    Evelyn Shough, 67, Kettering
    Donna Sue Skaggs, 22, Louisville
    Paul H. Smith, 54, Cincinnati
    Ann L. Stallous, 44, Murray, Ky.
    Opal Stewart, 57, Harrison Twp, Ohio
    Fred Stratton, 37, Norwood
    John Strom, 52, Lexington
    Laura Sykes, 29, Bright, Ind.
    Robert Sykes, 29, Bright
    Steven Taylor, 26, Cincinnati
    Barbara Thornhill, no age, Cincinnati
    Carolyn Thornhill, 35, Miami Twp., Ohio
    Baby Thornhill, unborn fetus
    Darlene Thornhill, 18, Cincinnati
    Robert Thornhill, 36, Delhi Twp., Ohio
    Rosemary Tilley, 33, Kettering
    Glenna Turner, 63, Spring Valley, Ohio
    John Twaddell, 52, Ft. Wright
    Diana Tyra, 19, Louisville
    Baby Tyra, unborn fetus
    Doris Tyra, 46, Louisville
    Phyllis Tyra, 24, Louisville
    Mary Vogel, 29, Cincinnati
    Ottillia Vollman, 84, Newport, Ky.
    Fred Wade, 61, Wayne Twp., Ohio
    Martha Wade, 61, Wayne Twp.
    George Walker Jr., 32, Louisville
    Beatrice Wenning, 57, Dayton
    Gertrude Williams, 60, Dayton
    Betty Wilson, 62, Miamisburg
    Mary Ann Work, 29, Covington
    Robert Zadek, 39, Miami Twp., Ohio
    George Zorick Jr., 52, Cincinnati
    George Zorick III, 32, Cincinnati

  12. #11
    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Tampa, FL

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    Thanks for posting that, Minus5. I was 8 years old at the time and remember it happening but didn't realize the depth of the tragedy until I just read that.

    Three people are arrested for stealing from the dead bodies.
    You know, there are bad poeple and then there are these types of people.

  13. #12
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom Heffner View Post
    Thanks for posting that, Minus5. I was 8 years old at the time and remember it happening but didn't realize the depth of the tragedy until I just read that.

    And it's amazing that from the amount of people with the same last names it seems that entire families were killed in the fire. Sad.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  14. #13
    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Tampa, FL

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    You know, there are bad poeple and then there are these types of people.
    And then are people who simply can't type....

  15. #14
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    The Bluegrass State

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of this tragedy. I was 12 years old, but still didn't understand the scope of what had happened. I was also confused as to why something called "Beverly Hills" would be in Kentucky. Since this thread was started in January, I have researched this and have tried to educate myself.

    The Louisville paper ran a front-page story Sunday...


  16. #15
    Dunnilicious creek14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000

    Re: Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire

    I was driving home from college for my summer vacation that night. I could usually pick up WLW around nightfall or Lafayette IN, whichever came first.

    I remember listening to the tragedy unfold over the airwaves as I made the drive across IN and on to Beavercreek. It still sends chills down my spine.
    Will trade this space for a #1 starter.

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