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Our Lady of the Angels (OLA) School Fire, December 1, 1958


Helen Glowacki (daughter of candy store proprietor Barbara Glowacki, whose store was immediately north of the school) and Robert Johncola at around Easter in 1958. (Photo courtesy of Robert Johncola) Beautiful little Peggy Sansonetti in her Kindergarten photo for the 1953-54 school year. Peggy was one of 28 fifth graders who were unable to escape room 212 on December 1, 1958. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Sansonetti via Jim Gibbons) Pretty Peggy Sansonetti as a second grader during the 1955-56 school year. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Sansonetti via Jim Gibbons)
Helen Glowacki and Robert Johncola Peggy Sansonetti-Kindergarten Peggy Sansonetti-Grade 2
Adorable Peggy Sansonetti as a third grader. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Sansonetti via Jim Gibbons) As a fifth grader, Peggy Sansonetti was becoming a beautiful young lady as this 1958 photo shows. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Sansonetti via Jim Gibbons) Sweet Peggy Sansonetti at her First Communion. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Sansonetti via Jim Gibbons)
Peggy Sansonetti-Grade 3 Peggy Sansonetti-Grade 5 Peggy Sansonetti
1st Communion
Cute little Peggy Sansonetti at approximately age eight. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Sansonetti via Jim Gibbons) The charming Sansonetti children in 1950: Ray (7), Kathy (4) and Peggy (2). Tragically, Peggy did not survive the 1958 OLA fire. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Sansonetti via Jim Gibbons) Sansonetti kids in the back yard. Peggy and cousin Rosalie, both age 3, and Peggy's sister Kathy, age 5, in red. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Sansonetti via Jim Gibbons)
Peggy Age 8 Sansonetti Children Sansonetti Back Yard
Sansonetti kids, Kathy (2), Peggy (6 mos.) and Ray (5) on their front porch at 1048 Hamlin in 1949. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Sansonetti via Jim Gibbons) The Sansonetti family in 1952, from left: Mom Anne, Dad Raymond, Peggy (4), Kathy (6), Cousin Billy Hillenbrand (13), and Ray Jr. (9). (Photo courtesy of Kathy Sansonetti via Jim Gibbons) Pretty Margaret Kucan with her parents, Yola and Slavko and younger brother John, not long before the OLA fire. Tragically, Margaret was lost in the fire, leaving her family devastated. Two other siblings, Susan and Robert, were born after the fire. (Photo courtesy of Susan Kucan Musil)
Sansonetti Front Porch Sansonetti Family Margaret Kucan and family
Cute Carol Gazzola at age 8, at the time of her First Holy Communion, five years before her tragic death in the Our Lady of the Angels fire (photo courtesy of Dolores Labuda). Charlene Campanale, who survived the inferno in room 210, in a portrait taken less than a month before the fire. (Photo Courtesy of Charlene Jancik) Young Charlene Campanale with her cousin (who was almost like a brother) in 1956. (Photo Courtesy of Charlene Jancik)
Carol Gazzola Charlene Before The Fire Charlene and cousin
Pretty Phyllis Cannello (room 208; class of '62) poses for her First Communion photo in 1957. Although she attended Ryerson Elementary, a public school, she took catechism classes at OLA and made her first holy communion along with the the rest of the children her age at OLA. For some reason, she was not included in the First Communion photo issued by OLA for 1957. (Photo Courtesy of Joe Cannello) Phyllis Cannello, sister of Joe Cannello, in May 1958. As Joe says, 'check out the Wild Bill Hicock outfit.' (Photo Courtesy of Joe Cannello) Cute little Joe Cannello (room 108; class of '66) at Christmas time, 1959. (Photo Courtesy of Joe Cannello)
Phyllis Cannello in 1957 Phyllis Cannello in 1958 Joe Cannello in 1959
Three little cuties, Linda Stabile, Peggy Wentworth, and Sally Konley, on the day of their First Communion in 1957. (Photo Courtesy of Sally Konley) Young Janet Gasteier, a tragic victim of the OLA fire, several years before the fire. (Photo Courtesy of Charlene Jancik) Cute seven year old Charlene Campanale taking her 10-cent pony ride, several years before the fire. (Photo Courtesy of Charlene Jancik)
Linda, Peggy, Sally Janet Gasteier Charlene Pony Ride
Charlene Campanale, survivor of room 210, a year and a half after the fire at age eleven, no longer wears the torso brace she wore for months (after three months in the hospital and seven months in a body cast). She is beginning to get her life back -- she even has a new boyfriend! (Photo Courtesy of Charlene Jancik) From a newspaper article, exact date unknown. (Photo Courtesy of Margaret Jane Akin, who is the girl farthest left in the picture) OLA Girl Scout Troop circa 1964. (Photo Courtesy of Vicki Tortorich)
Charlene & Boyfriend Msgr Cussen and OLA students OLA Girl Scouts
OLA Girl Scout Troop circa 1964. (Photo Courtesy of Vicki Tortorich) Joyce Peneschi, a survivor of room 107. She was a fourth grader the day of the fire. This photo was taken just months before the fire when Joyce was age 10. (Photo Courtesy of Joyce Peneschi) Joyce Peneschi on her first tricycle, with her brother, Tom, holding the tire so she can't ride - a friendly sister and brother 'fight'. (Photo Courtesy of Joyce Peneschi)
OLA Girl Scouts (Very Large) Joyce Peneschi at age 10 Joyce and Tom
Clockwise from left are Anita ? ;Donna and Tom Peneschi; Jimmy and Christine DePhillips; Karen, Diane and Carmella. (Does any one remember Anita's or Carmella's last name? Also see class photo Room 104 1956.) (Photo Courtesy of Joyce Peneschi) Clockwise from left are Joyce Peneschi, Mary Ann, Camile, Anita, Donna, Tom Peneschi, And Jimmy DePhillips. (Photo Courtesy of Joyce Peneschi) L-R are Donna (cousin of Joyce), Pat Guzaldo and Joyce Peneschi. (Photo Courtesy of Joyce Peneschi)
Birthday Party 1 Birthday Party 2 Donna, Pat and Joyce
L-R are Gene Fedenzo, Jerry Ramoska, Joyce Peneschi, Bob Ramoska (twin brother of Jerry), and Pat Guzaldo. (Photo Courtesy of Joyce Peneschi) Joe Karkoszka (third from left), survivor of room 101, became a civilian contractor for the Department of the Defense doing bomb disposal work in Iraq. From Joe: “Here is a quick shot of me and my guards here......Not the best picture in the world, but notice we are all smiling....'cause we know we got 'Saddam'” (Photo Courtesy of Joe Karkoszka) Left to right are Lorraine Senorski, Phillip Maita and Christine Karkoszka on the day of their confirmation in 1956 or 57. All three survived the fire two years later. (Photo Courtesy of Phil Maita)
Joyce and The Boys Joe Karkoszka in Iraq Lorraine, Phillip and Christine
Angelic (note the 'halo') Lorraine Senorski (now Lorraine King) in a 1953 first grade photo. (Photo Courtesy of Lorraine King) Standing (from left): Ed Berg's Mom, Frank Guzaldo's Mom, Frank Guzaldo, Jim Grosso's Mom, Mike Gallo's Mom, Pat Guzaldo's Mom, Pat Guzaldo, Pat Guzaldo's Dad; Kneeling: Ed Berg, Jim Grosso, Mike Gallo. Photo taken around time of OLA 8th grade graduation in 1962. (Photo courtesy of Jim Grosso) This handsom young man is Edward Pikinski at the time of his first Holy Communion in 1955. Tragically, Edward was one of 12 children who did not escape from room 208 three years later on December 1, 1958. (Photo courtesy of Witold Szmyd)
Lorraine Senorski Jim Grosso and Friends Edward Pikinski First Communion
Edward Pikinski (left) and his half-brother Witold Szmyd in front of their Christmas tree in 1956 or '57. (Photo courtesy of Witold Szmyd) First day of kindergarten, 1963. The cute little girl in red is Elizabeth Soohen. Next to her is Michael Vernon and Paulie (last name unknown) in the bow tie. Michael's mom is holding the baby. Photo was taken on Augusta Blvd, probably in front of the grocery store near Vincy's. (Photo courtesy of Liz Soohen Grosset)
Brothers Edward Pikinski and Witold Szmyd 1st Day of Kindergarten 1963
If you have family photos of OLA students (or anyone involved with the fire) from around 1958 that you like to share on this site, please contact webmaster@olafire.com.