The gathering Sunday was one of many planned to commemorate the devastating fire, one of Chicago’s worst tragedies. Three nuns and 92 children died in the blaze, which broke out about 2:15 p.m. Dec. 1, 1958, in the Catholic school’s basement. It swept through the school of 1,600 students in a few hours.
Children jumped from windows, and neighbors and families ran to the school, at 909 N. Avers Ave., with ladders and blankets. The fire led to massive overhauls of fire codes and higher standards for building safety, like brighter exit signs. The cause of the fire has never been officially determined.
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It has been 60 years, but Serge Uccetta remembers Dec. 1, 1958 like it happened recently. That’s the day fire engulfed his elementary school, Our Lady of the Angels near Hamlin and Chicago avenues, taking the lives of 95 people — 92 students and three women religious.continue at Chicago Catholic
“Let me tell you, you don’t forget something like that. It may be 60 years but it’s like it was a year ago,” Uccetta said.