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


People Involved With Our Lady of the Angels School Fire

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Abbatiello, Anthony
Boy
Brother of Aurelia Abbatiello.
Abbatiello, Aurelia
Fourth grade girl in room 210
Aurelia suffered serious burns on her legs. According to Aurelia's mother, classmate Steven Friedeck helped Aurelia escape through a window. Sister of Anthony Abbatiello.
Addante, Patricia
Second grade girl age 6 in room 104
Affatato, Michael
Boy
Akin, Margaret Jane
Fourth grade girl in room 210
Margaret escaped through the west window of room 210 and down a ladder. Other than numerous splinters in her hands from descending the ladder, she was uninjured.
Alexis, Sister Mary
Fourth grade teacher in room 106
Almunda, Sister
Administrator at St. Anne's Hospital
Alotta, James
Sixth grade boy in room 205
Altobell, Michele
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
Amadei, Anita
Girl
Amato, Sandra
Second grade girl age 7 in room 102
Ancona, Michael
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 108
Anderson, Ablin
Fireman
Anderson was a member of rescue Squad 6, which responded to the box alarm.
Anderson, James
Fifth grade boy age 11 in room 206
Andreoli, Barbara
First grade girl in Joseph Hall
Sister of Gerry and Randy Andreoli.
Andreoli, Gerry
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 209
Gerry was hospitalized until March of 1959, after undergoing numerous skin graft operations. He later married Irene Mordarski, a survivor of room 208.
Andreoli, Randy
Boy
Brother of Gerry and Barbara Andreoli.
Anglim, Robert
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Anselmo, Henry
Chicago Fire Inspector
Lt. Anselmo inspected the school in October, 1958, and reported it to be in "safe and legal condition," because the 1949 fire code that would have prevented all loss of life at OLA did not apply to schools built before 1949.
Antoni, Anita
Second grade girl age 7 in room 103
Arena, Alan
Third grade boy age 8 in room 101
Brother of James Arena.
Arena, Dolores
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room B
Arena, James
First grade boy in Joseph Hall
Brother of Alan Arena.
Arena, Ray
Eighth grade boy in room 209
Ray escaped without injury by jumping from a window in room 209 to a small awning over a doorway from the first floor annex to the courtyard.
Arimond, Carroll
Associated Press Reporter
Arimond was the main writer for the AP reporting on the OLA fire.
Ascher, John
Police Crime Lab
Lt. Ascher was involved in the investigation of the fire, in particular examining the remains of the 30 gallon drum found in the stairwell.
Auck, Dale
Fire Prevention Engineer
Auck was a member of the coroner's jury that investigated the fire and developed recommendations for school fire safety standards.

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Bailey, James
Fireman
Bailey was a CFD Deputy Marshall, and one of the first to enter the school via the north-side second floor windows.
Bailey, Doreen
First grade girl in room 110
Sister of Maureen Bailey.
Bailey, Maureen
Sixth grade girl age 10 in room 205
Sister of Doreen Bailey.
Baldy, Leonard
Helicopter Patrolman
Chicago Police Officer Baldy operated Chicago's the first traffic helicopter (starting in February 1958), broadcasting traffic reports on WGN radio. During the OLA fire, he not only reported on the fire from high overhead, he also communicated with emergency vehicles weaving through heavy traffic, helping them find the quickest route to the fire.
Barabasz, John
Eighth grade boy age 13
John was sent to Garfield Park Hospital with minor injuries.
Barale, Michelle
Eighth grade girl age 14 in room 211
Michelle was rescued by fireman Charles Kamin atop a ladder at a window of room 211.
Barkhaus, Elmer
Passing motorist who noticed smoke coming from the school
Elmer ran into Barbara Glowacki's store north of the school after seeing smoke coming from the northeast entrance of the school. He asked Glowacki if she had a phone and she said she did not have a public phone (she did not know he intended to call the fire department). He then ran to an apartment across the street looking for a phone. In the meantime, Glowacki realized there was a fire and called the fire department. By then, the fire department had already been notified. Barkhaus passed away in April, 1971.
Barletta, Linda
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208
Linda was pushed out a window but survived with just bruises and minor burn injuries. Cousin of Andrea Gagliardo.
Baroni, Karen
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Barry, James
Achitect
Barry was commissioned by the Chicago Archdiocese to design the new OLA school with every possible fire safety feature.
Barsanti, Robert
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 207
Barsella, Authur
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 204
Barth, Marjean
Nursing School Faculty Member at St. Anne's Hospital
Marjean spent Monday evening in contact with other hospitals, collecting names of injured students admitted to other hospitals, helping frantic parents find their children.
Bartolo, Doug
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room B
Bavaro, Frances
Fourth grade girl
Becker, Fred C.
Fireman
Fred was a member of one of the hook and ladder companies that fought the fire. He passed away in 1990.
Bellino, Concentta
Fourth grade girl age 8 in room 210
As Connie started climbing down a ladder, her hair was on fire. Firemen saw her burning hair and aimed a hose at her, but the powerful stream of water knocked her off the ladder. She was caught by one of the fathers on the alley side of the school, saving her from serious injury. Sister of Sam Bellino.
Bellino, Sam
Boy age 7
Brother of Concentta Belino.
Belluomini, Roy
First grade boy age 7 in room 107
Benton, William
Salvation Army Captain
Benton headed up the Salvation Army staff that served thousands of cups of coffee, doughnuts and sandwiches through the night to workers at the fire. They also handed out new dry gloves to rescue workers.
Benza, Charlene
(See Campanale, Charlene)
Benza, Veronica
Second grade girl age 7
Cousin of Charlene Campanale Benza
Berg, Gloria
Eight grade girl in room 209
Bermingham, Rev. Richard
St. Anne's Hospital Chaplain
Father Bermingham blessed and comforted some of the OLA victims during their hospital stay.
Bertucci, Henry
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 207
Henry opened a window and climbed out, dropping onto the fire escape, causing it to drop down into the gangway between the school and rectory. Janitor James Raymond was then able to go up the fire escape and unlock the rear door of room 207, thereby saving the lives of the 40+ children in that classroom.
Berzins, Alexander
Fourth grade boy
Biancalana, Luisella
First grade girl age 6
Sister of Peter Biancalana.
Biancalana, Peter
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 201
Brother of Luisella Biancalana.
Bigley, Thomas
Boy age 12
Thomas escaped without injury. “Some of the kids got scared on the way out. We couldn't see through the smoke until we got to the bannister where we made the turn to go down the steps.”
Bilotti, Robert
Boy
Brother of Theresa Bilotti.
Bilotti, Theresa
Girl
Sister of Robert Bilotti. Later married James Sansone.
Bingham, William J.
Senior Fire Alarm Operator
Bingham took the first phone call reporting the fire at Our Lady of the Angels school, and dispatched the first units to the scene.
Biscan, David
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Bisconti, Joann
Second grade girl
Sister of Laura Bisconti.
Bisconti, Laura
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208
Laura suffered burns but survived. She was treated at Norwegian American Hospital. Sister of JoAnn Bisconti.
Bluchin, Patricia
Girl age 6
Bluhm, Linda
Fourth grade girl
Bobrowicz, Richard
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
Bodnar, Damian
Fireman
Bodnar was a young member of Hook and Ladder Company 26. He become a fireman in 1956 and went on to a distinguished career in the fire service. He passed away in May 2010 at age 81.
Bolzan, Ada Maria
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 204
Bonadonna, Joseph
First grade boy age 6 in Joseph Hall
Borrelli, Joseph A.
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 210
Joseph jumped into a fireman's net from his second floor classroom, and spent four months in the hospital recovering from broken bones and third degree burns. Sister of Maria Borrelli.
Borrelli, Maria
First grade girl
Sister of Joseph Borrelli.
Brannigan, Francis L.
Fireman
Brannigan later became chief of the Port Republic, Maryland Fire Department. Designated one of the 20 people who most influenced the fire service in the 20th century, Brannigan has been honored as a fellow by the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, even though his degree isn't in engineering. He is the author of Building Construction for the Fire Service, Third Edition, published by the NFPA.
Brietenbach, Sister Judian
Nursing Supervisor
Brocato, Anthony
First grade boy in Joseph Hall
Brocato, Joseph
Fifth grade boy age 11 in room 205
Joseph and classmate Ronald Edington were emptying wastebaskets in the boiler room when the janitor, James Raymond, ran through and yelled for someone to call the fire department. “Suddenly, I saw the janitor running from the boiler room. The janitor shouted, 'Call the fire department.' My classmates and I ran upstairs and we were told by the nuns to go into the church. A lot of children were in the church. We then were told to go home.”
Brock, Dennis
Second grade boy age 7
Brother of Mary Brock and Gerald Brock.
Brock, Gerald
Fourth grade boy age 9
Brother of Mary Brock and Dennis Brock.
Brock, Mary
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212
Mary was rescued by firemen and admitted to St. Anne's Hospital with minor injuries. Sister of Gerald Brock and Dennis Brock.
Brown, Carol
Fourth grade girl
Brown, Raymond
Fourth grade boy
Brown, Sgt. Drew
Chicago Police Arson Investigator
Brown investigated the fire but was never able to state with certainty that the fire was caused by arson.
Brugeman, Stephen
Nursing Supervisor
Bruno, Hal
Reporter for the Chicago American
Bruno was a reporter and volunteer firefighter who frequently rode with Chicago firemen. He was one of the first reporters at the scene and reported extensively on the tragedy. Bruno passed away on November 8, 2011 at age 83, due to complications from a fall at his home on November 4, 2011.
Bucaro, Frank
Eighth grade boy age 14 in room 211
Frank was uninjured because he was at the church helping with a clothing drive.
Buck, George
Fireman
George was an engineer with Engine Company 95, which responded to the box alarm placed at 2:44 pm.
Burda, Beverly Ann
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 209 (fatality)
Beverly's father, Stanley Burda, was in the hospital after having a metal splinter removed from his left eye when the fire occurred. He was released from the hospital early to attend his daughter's funeral with peculiar looking pin-hole glasses and instructions from his doctor not to cry! It was feared that the salt from his tears could permanently damage his vision. Sister of Dale and Frank Burda and cousin of Dennis and David DeBoer and of Laura Hoblit.
Burda, Dale
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 205
Brother of Beverly and Frank Burda and cousin of Dennis and David DeBoer and of Laura Hoblit.
Burda, Frank
First grade boy
Brother of Beverly and Dale Burda and cousin of Dennis and David DeBoer and of Laura Hoblit.
Buziak, Helen
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208 (fatality)
Buzzanca, Mary
Third grade girl age 8 in room A
Byrne, John J.
Policeman
Byrne helped grief stricken families to identify their children at the county morgue. Throughout his 39-year career as a Chicago Police Officer, he said working with the families of OLA victims was the hardest assignment of his life. John passed away on June 26, 2000.

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Cain, Jonathan
See Jonathan Friga
Callahan, James
St. Anne's Hospital Chief of Staff
Callaway, John
CBS News reporter
Callaway covered the OLA fire for WBBM TV/Radio, the CBS affiliate in Chicago. Today he is one of the most respected broadcast journalists in the country. He narrated the Emmy Award Winning “Angels Too Soon”.
Calvacca, Frances
Fourth grade girl
Camerini, Mario
Assistant Janitor
Mario located the only parish extension ladder long enough to reach the second floor windows and placed it at one of room 208's windows. Approximately twenty-five students thus escaped from room 208 who might not otherwise have.
Campagna, Cynthia
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 106
Cousin of Dominic and Celeste Florio.
Campanale, Charlene
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210
Charlene survived by jumping, or falling, from a window in room 210. The fall broke her back and she spent nearly three months in the hospital, having to lie completely immobile the entire time. When she finally went home, she spent seven months in a body cast, followed by a torso brace. She later attended the new Our Lady of the Angels school. In 2003 Charlene, a special education teacher, became president of Friends of OLA. She passed away unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm on November 30, 2003, one day before the 45th anniversary of the OLA fire. Cousin of Veronica Benza.
Campion, James
Eighth grade boy in room 211
Campion, Mary Ellen
Fifth grade girl
Cangelosi, Peter
Fourth grade boy age 10 in room 210 (fatality)
Cannella, George
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Cannello, Joseph
First grade boy age 6 in room 110
Brother of Phyllis Cannello.
Cannello, Phyllis
Fifth grade girl age 11 in room 205
Sister of Joseph Cannello.
Cannerato, Ralph
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211
Caponera, Paul
Third grade boy in room 109
Caputo, Peggy
Fourth grade girl
Carbona, Annette
Third grade girl age 8 in room 101
Sister of Michael Carbona.
Carbona, Michael
Fifth grade boy age 11 in room 205
Brother of Annette Carbona.
Cardamone, Anthony
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 208
Brother of Antoinette Cardamone.
Cardamone, Antoinette
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 209
Antoinette was not feeling well and did not return to school after lunch, possibly saving her life. Sister of Anthony Cardamone.
Carolan, Sister Andrienne
Seventh grade teacher in room 201
Sister Andrienne Carolan's quick reaction to the invasion of smoke in the south wing hallway allowed all of her students to escape the school unharmed. The smoke was so thick in the halls and eventually the classrooms, that about 15 students could not see to escape. Sister Andrienne ran back through the suffocating smoke, located her remaining students and led them through the blinding, poisonous smoke to safety and clean air outside.
Carr, Kathleen
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Carr, Robert
Fourth grade boy
Caruso, Julie
Fifth grade girl in room 105
Sister of Nina Caruso.
Caruso, Nina
Sixth grade girl in room 207
Sister of Julie Caruso.
Casale, Joseph
Insurance Agent
Joseph arrived at the school around 2:43 pm to pick up his children and noticed smoke coming from the northeast corner of the building. He ran into the alley on the north side of the school where he saw children hanging out of the second floor windows. He then entered the north wing through the Avers entrance, and ran to the east end of the main hall on the first floow. Upon finding all classrooms evacuated, he continued through the annex and back outdoors on Iowa Street. He then ran back around to the Avers entrance again and up the west stairs to the second floor. The smoke here was so heavy he could barely see or breathe. He tried to vent some of the smoke by breaking out several windows on the second floor landing and badly cut his arm in the process. The heat and smoke quickly forced him down the stairs. Once back outdoors, he encountered numerous injured children who had jumped from the second floor. He loaded four injured children into his car and rushed them to the hospital, where he was also treated for his injuries.
Cascio, Karen
Sixth grade girl age 10 in room 207
Cousin of Nancy Pilas.
Casey, Sister St. Florence
Our Lady of the Angels school principal
Sister Florence was substituting in the south wing for a sick teacher at the time of the fire.
Casto, Marty
Seventh grade boy age 11 in room 201
Marty escaped without injury.
Castrovillari, Annamarie
Second grade girl age 7
Sister of Wayne and Carmine Castrovillari, cousin of Sally and Donna Shillcutt.
Castrovillari, Carmine
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 108
Brother of Wayne and Annamarie Castrovillari, cousin of Sally and Donna Shillcutt.
Castrovillari, Wayne
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 201
Brother of Carmine and Annamarie Castrovillari, cousin of Sally and Donna Shillcutt.
Catalano, Anthony A.
Fireman
Anthony passed away on January 15, 2001.
Catalano, Jeanie
Eighth grade girl
Jeanie suffered a broken leg in jumping from her classroom. Cousin of Joseph and MaryAnne Modica.
Cecille, Sister Mary Jean
Third grade teacher in room A
Cerone, Louis
Boy
Louis tumbled down a ladder from his second floor classroom, breaking his kneecap. Brother of Rosa Cerone.
Cerceo, Mary Frances
Second grade girl
Cousin-in-law of Betti Marino.
Cerone, Rosa
Fourth grade girl age 9
Rosa escaped without injury. Sister of Louis Cerone.
Chambers, Daniel
Second grade boy age 7 in room 103
Brother of Patrick Chambers.
Chambers, Margaret
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Chambers, Patrick
Sixth grade boy age 12
Brother of Daniel Chambers.
Champagne, Sister Mary Clare Therese
Fifth grade teacher in room 212, age 27 (fatality)
Sister Mary Clara Therese was born Eloise Champagne in New Orleans on May 20, 1931 and entered the BVM Community on February 2, 1950. Before Our Lady of the Angels, she was assigned to St. Joseph School in Wichita, Kansas.
Chiappetta, Aurelius Jr.
Eighth grade boy age 14 in room 211 (fatality)
Chiappetta, Joan Anne
Fourth grade girl age 10 in room 210 (fatality)
Sister of Robert Chiappetta.
Chiappetta, Robert
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 203
Brother of Joan Anne Chiappetta.
Chiko, Denise
First grade girl age 6 in room 107
Denise's birthday was December 1, and her class was in the middle of a birthday party in her honor when the fire started. Everyone in her class escaped safely.
Chiero, Tom
Fourth grade boy in room B
Chrzas, Joan
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Cibelli, Mary
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210
Luckily, Mary stayed home the day of the fire because she had not studied for a math test, and consequently was not injured.
Cibelli, Rosemary
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 207
Cichocki, Bernice
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208 (fatality)
Bernice was identified only through dental records.
Cilella, Alfred J.
Family Court Judge
On March 13, 1962, Judge Cilella dismissed charges against a then 13-year-old boy who was charged with setting the OLA school fire. The judge reasoned that the boy was too young under Illinois law to be found guilty of a felony, even if it were true, and he feared for the boy's life if he were to find him responsible for the deaths of 95 persons. Given that, and the fact that he wanted to help the archdiocese avoid further difficulties, he ruled that there was insufficient evidence to find the boy guilty.
Ciminello, Rosalie
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208 (fatality)
Cimperale, Ralph
Boy
Ciochon, Roseanna
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Ciolino, Jo Ann
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Ciucci, Orlando
Third grade boy age 10 in room 101
Brother of Rita Ciucci.
Ciucci, Rita
Girl age 9
Sister of Orlando Ciucci.
Clark, Ralph
Fireman
Clark was a member of Engine Company 85, the first Company to arrive at the fire. He worked with Henry Holden, Charles Robinson, and other firemen attempting to rescue children from room 212.
Cleary, James
Chicago Police Arson Investigator
Jim was one of four arson investigators present at the fire. He was the first to question Joseph Brocato and Ronald Edington, the last two students to carry wastepaper from their classroom to the basement before the fire was discovered.
Cleary, Tom
Second grade boy age 7
Colletti, John
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 203
John escaped and ran home, along with his buddy, Bobby Chiappetta. The two returned to the school to search for Bobby's sister, Joanne, but were unable locate her. They learned the following day that Joanne did not survive.
Collins, Jerry
Chicago Police Arson Investigator
Collins arrived at the height of the fire, along with three other arson investigators, and immediately began investigating possible causes for the fire.
Comarolo, Carmella
Fourth grade girl
Como, Gary
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room B
Compiani, Maria
Third grade girl age 8 in room 101
Consiglio, Frank
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212
Frank fell unconscious to the floor of his classroom, but was awakened when he was stepped on. He climbed onto a window sill but decided not to jump. He was eventually rescued by firemen and taken to Franklin Hospital suffering from burns.
Consolazio, Daniel
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 105
Cool, Robert
Second grade boy age 7 in room 109
Bob escaped without injury.
Corbo, Rev. Alfred
One of four associate pastors living in the rectory at the time of the fire
Corsiglia, Gail
Sixth grade girl age 11
Corsiglia, Millicent
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
Millicent reached a window where fireman Charles Kamin was yanking children out as quickly as he could, but the room flashed over before he was able to get her out.
Cortesi, Raymond
Eighth grade boy in room 211
Ray was at home sick the day of the fire.
Coughlan, Dorothy
Fifth grade lay teacher in room 205
After conferring with teacher Pearl Tristano in room 206, Coughlan and Tristano successfully led their students out of the school to safety. Initially, they waited briefly while trying to locate the school principal, who was substituting for an absent teacher, before taking the initiative and leading their students to safety outside the building. Their willingness to act contrary to the strict school rules (leaving without the principal's approval) saved many lives.
Courtney, Nancy
Girl
Cozzola, Richard
First grade boy in Joseph Hall
Rick's classroom was in Joseph Hall, one of the classroom buildings south of the church. Cousin of Matt Jameson.
Cribari, Teresa
Second grade girl age 7
Culhane, Patrick T.
Police Investigator
Culhane was a police investigator who arrived on scene within two hours and went through the building even before the bodies had been removed. He was deeply affected by what he saw. Patrick passed away in 2005
Culp, Karen Ann
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Cumbo, David
Part-time Volunteer Janitor
Cumbo was ill and not present at the fire.
Curcio, Joseph
Fifth grade boy in room 212
Curcio, John
Third grade boy
Curio, Ronald
Seventh grade boy age 12
Curio, Rosemary
Fourth grade girl
Curtis, Cheryl
Kindergarten girl age 5 in Mary Hall
Niece of Maria Salemi and Andrew Salemi.
Cussen, Joseph
Senior Pastor of Our Lady of the Angels
Monsignor Joseph Cussen lived in the rectory along with two other monsignors
Cusack, James
Policeman
Cutro, George
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room B

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D'Amico, Rosalind
Fourth grade girl
D'Amore, Andrew
Eighth grade boy age 13 in roomB 209
Brother of Joe D'Amore
D'Amore, Joseph
Sixth grade boy in south wing
Brother of Andrew D'Amore
Daley, Richard J.
Mayor of Chicago
Daley, Raymond J.
Fireman
Daley was a CFD Chief Marshall, and one of the first to enter the second floor via the windows on the north side, but it was too late.
Danesi, Annette
Eighth grade girl age 12 in room 209
Anette escaped through the corner window of her classroom, like many in her class, with the help of Father Ognibene and parent Sam Tortorice.
Dattmo, Joseph
Seventh grade boy in room 201
Joe was one of a number of students who carried their room's waste papers to the basement the afternoon of the fire.
Davis, Johnna
Girl age 10
Johnna suffered burns and was hospitalized at St. Anne's.
DeBoer, David
First grade boy
Brother of Dennis DeBoer and cousin of Beverly, Dale and Frank Burda and of Laura Hoblit.
DeBoer, Dennis
Fifth grade boy
Brother of David DeBoer and cousin of Beverly, Dale and Frank Burda and of Laura Hoblit.
DeCristofano, James
Fifth grade boy age 10
DeChristopher, Phillip J.
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 209
Phillip later became a physician.
Deciglio, Davis
Boy
Degidio, Nancy
First grade girl age 6 in Joseph Hall
DeGiulio, Maria
Fifth grade girl age 11 in room 212 (fatality)
DeGuilio, James
Second grade boy in room
Degroot, Clifford J.
Eighth grade boy age 13
Clifford was hospitalized with minor injuries. Clifford passed away on November 26, 2009.
Del Debbio, Paul
Sixth grade boy
Brother of Paul Del Debbio.
Del Debbio, Patricia
Fourth grade girl
Sister of Patricia Del Debbio.
Delaria, Janet
Eighth grade girl in room 211
Janet, along with Karen Hobik and Frances Guzaldo, returned to room 211 after running an errand, and reported smoke in the hallway. Janet survived the fire -- Karen and Frances did not.
Delgenio, Michael
Kindergarten Boy age 5 in Mary Hall
DelJuidice, Gerald
Fifth grade boy
Della, Darlene
Second grade girl in room 102
Sister of Frank Della.
Della, Frank
Fourth grade boy in room 210
Frank was severely burned but survived. He had passed out on the floor of his classroom, but firemen were able to quickly pull him out a window to safety. He spent two months in the hospital recovering from his injuries. Brother of Darlene Della
Demko, Emile
Police Detective
Detective Demko was one of the police investigators who investigated the fire, trying to determine whether or not the fire was arson.
Depalma, Theresa
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212
DePasquale, Sam
Fourth grade boy
DePhillips, James
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 210
Jimmy managed to climb out a window onto a ladder, but his clothing was on fire. He was then blown off the ladder by a blast of water from a fire hose by a fireman who saw his burning clothes. He suffered burns to his ear, face and leg, spent the night at St. Anne's Hospital and was released the next day
DeSanto, Nancy Mary
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
DeSario, Nick
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 207
DeSimone, Marilyn
Fifth grade girl age 11 in room 205
"It was 2:50 p.m. and Mrs. Coughlan always looked out the transom above the door at the clock just outside the room - just above what was the store (we bought little religious trinkets and such from there). I remember a puzzled look on her face. She opened the door and smoke started pouring into the room. She told us all to remain seated and left the room. When she returned she told us all to stay calm and remember our fire drills (we had just had one the previous week). I remember the black dense smoke. I couldn't see where I was going. I remembered not to touch the walls. We were always told the walls could be hot. When I got to the stairs, and started down, others were pushing. I ended up falling down a portion of the stairs, but was not injured. While we stood outside in our assigned areas, I remember someone saying that everyone had gotten out all right."
DeStefano, Basil
Seventh grade boy
Basil led a group of his classmates out of the school to safety.
Devine, Miles
Battalion Chief
Devine was Chief of the 18th Battalion of the Chicago Fire Department. Soon after arriving at the scene, the roof of the school collapsed. Knowing children were trapped beneath the fallen roof, he immediately called for a 5-11 alarm, skipping a 3rd and 4th alarm. Although the fire was soon extinguished, it was too late and the rescue operation turned into a grim recovery operation.
Devine, Sister Mary Davidis
Eighth grade teacher in room 209
Sister Davidis Devine's quick thinking probably helped account for the low death rate in room 209. She ordered the children to quickly stack books in front of the cracks around the doors, slowing the suffocating smoke's entry into the room. Only one student died in her classroom, and another died in the hospital some months later. Sister Davidis passed away on October 14, 2006, after celebrating her 100th birthday on June 4, 2006.
DiCanio, Richard R.
Sixth grade boy age 12 in room 205
DiMatteo, Dominick Jr.
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 202
Diciglio, Dennis
Boy age 11
Brother of LeeRoy Diciglio.
Diciglio, LeeRoy
Fifth grade boy age 9 in room 210
LeeRoy was badly burned and remained in the hospital for months after the fire. Brother of Dennis Diciglio.
DiCiolla, Colomba
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 206
Sister of Joseph and Michael DiCiolla.
DiCiolla, Joseph
Sixth grade boy room 204
Brother of Colomba and Michael DiCiolla.
DiCiolla, Michael
Kindergarten boy in Mary Hall
Brother of Colomba and Joseph DiCiolla.
DiGiulio, James
Second grade boy in room 103
DiGiulio, Nancy Rose
Third grade girl age 8
Digioie, Joseph
Sixth grade boy
DiMaso, Clara
Kindergarten girl age 5 in Mary Hall
Dini, Donna
Fourth grade girl age 9
DiPompeo, Lois
Third grade girl age 8 in room 101
"As a journalist, I've been able to write about the school fire, helping to heighten awareness of fire safety. Also, as a school board member of a suburban high school district for the past ten years, I've served as an advocate for safe schools by supporting health and life/safety referenda, urged state legislators to lift health and life/safety mandates out from under the tax cap, and talked to students whenever asked about fire safety." Sister of Rick DiPompeo.
DiPompeo, Rick
Kindergarten boy age 5 in Mary Hall
Brother of Lois DiPompeo.
Dixon, Clarence
Fireman
Clarence was a young fireman assigned to Engine Company 85. For the rest of his life, when someone would bring up the OLA fire, he would become choked up and turn away. His son, Dan, recalls the day of the fire: “I was 7 years old and went to 'Five Holy Martyrs' on the south side ... I remember my dad coming home, and for two days each time he looked at my baby sister or me, he would burst into tears and cry for a long period of time. All I can remember him saying was that they were the first company on the scene and that they put up ladders to rescue the kids. I never brought up the subject and he never talked about it.” Clarence passed away a few years ago.
Doherty, Owen
Fire Department Senior Alarm Operator
Owen was one of the operators on duty when the first alarm was turned in.
Domico, Paula
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 207
Paula escaped thanks to James Raymond and Father Hund, who opened the locked rear classroom door and led the class down the fire escape to safety.
Dooley, Patty
First grade girl age 5 in Joseph Hall
Dowling, Mary
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 106
Drangel, Daniel
Police Lab Chemist
Drangel investigated the fire's point of origin, looking for combustables and accelerants that would indicate arson.
Driscoll, James
Fireman
Driscoll was a member of Ladder Company 26. He arrived after the 5-11 alarm and ended up riding to the morgue in an ambulance containing the bodies of several children and a nun.
Drzymala, Patricia
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208 (fatality)
Duchene, Richard
Fireman
Duchene was a member of Hook and Ladder Company 26. He later recalled: “Civilians went up the ladders to do what they could. Firemen were too busy trying to catch or break the falls of children leaping from the building. The children were screaming and jumping faster than we could catch them. It was the worst thing I ever saw ... children on the ground everywhere.” Duchene was one of the firefighters assigned to remove bodies after the fire. “The bodies seemed to be coming out in truckloads. I don't know which was worse; putting kids into ambulances knowing they would be dead before they went a block, or seeing the little forms trapped at the rear of the building.”
Dumovich, Joseph
First grade boy age 8
Joe's classroom was in the south wing of the school, but he was in the principal's office (also in the south wing) when the fire broke out. He escaped without injury. Today, Joe is a retired firefighter from the Des Plaines, Illinois Fire Department.
Dumovich, Steve
Seventh grade boy age 11 in room 201
Steve escaped from room 201 in the south wing of the school, without injury. Today he is Fire Chief with the Wilmette, Illinois Fire Department.
Duncan, Raymond
Boy
Raymond was hospitalized with burn injuries.
Dunn, Lawrence J.
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Dyra, William
Fireman

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- E -

Early, Robert
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 208
Robert climbed out of the windows in his classroom, and was shoved off by others attempting to scramble out. He spent three weeks in the hospital with a broken foot.
Edington, Carol
Sister of William, Ronald and Patricia Edington.
Edington, Patricia
Sister of William, Ronald and Carol Edington.
Edington, Ronald
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 205
Ronald and Joseph Brocato were emptying wastebaskets in the boiler room when the janitor, James Raymond, ran through and yelled for someone to call the fire department. Brother of William, Carol and Patricia Edington.
Edington, William R. Jr.
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
William passed away on August 9, 1959 - the last victim of Our Lady of the Angels fire to die. Brother of Ronald, Carol and Patricia Edington.
Egan, Rev. Msgr. John Joseph
Senior Pastor at Our Lady of the Angels
[Webmaster's note: the following account is from a much larger news article chronicling the life of Monsignor Egan, and is presented here as such, not as fact.]

Monsignor John Joseph Egan had a call from Bishop William E. McManus, superintendent of Chicago's parochial schools, on the first day of December, 1958. “There's a fire out at Our Lady of Angels,” he told Jack, “and I think you should get out there.” Monsignor Joseph F. Cussen had given Jack Egan a room on the third floor of Our Lady of Angels rectory. The location on the near West Side at Iowa and Hamlin Streets was convenient to Jack's downtown office.

“I put on my hat and coat and jumped in my car and followed one of the fire trucks racing out Chicago Avenue. I couldn't park within two blocks,” Jack recalls. Archbishop Meyer—only two weeks since his installation—and the pastor, Monsignor Cussen, milled with the thousands of people jamming Avers Avenue. Parents were struggling with the police to get past them to the school doors. A nun inside the building was screaming, “We are trapped. We are trapped.” Children were jumping from the second floor windows. Some had leaped toward firemen's ladders and missed, falling to ground already littered with children and soaked with blood. Other children were clinging to the ledges. Scores of onlookers fainted at what Fire Commissioner Robert Quinn called “the worst thing I have ever seen or ever will see.” Battalion chiefs wept. “We tried. God, how we tried, but we couldn't move fast enough. No one could live in that fire.”

Firemen were battling through the flames to bring out the victims. Parents searched frantically for their youngsters as firemen emptied the smoldering building built at 909 N. Avers Avenue in 1904, substantially expanded in 1911, and remodeled in 1951. The Tribune reporter described priests kneeling to give last rites “to canvas covered forms which were once children.” He described a desperate young father yelling at his wife, “Why didn't you tell her to stay home today?”

Tales of heroism were many. An eleven-year-old mourned his teacher Sister St. Canice, who struggled to get her students out the second story window. “She helped me onto a ladder there,” Thomas Handschiegel told a Tribune reporter. “The last I saw of her was when she went back into the room and disappeared into the smoke. I think she could have gotten out, but she stayed to help the kids.” A nun who wouldn't identify herself to the reporter made six trips into the building to lead out groups of sixth and seventh graders. She rolled some of her students down the stairs to get them out quickly.

The priests from the rectory had run to save the children at the first alarm. Father Joseph Ognibene, who'd been in the parish ten years and knew many of the children well, was part of a chain of rescuers. A father who'd heard girls shouting, “Save me, save me,” straddled an open window from which he lowered the girls, one by one, through the window five feet down to a ledge above the school entrance. There Father Ognibene and another parent grabbed them and pulled them to safety. A neighbor who heard a priest yell, “There's children in there. It's on fire,” made six trips in to lead children out until the smoke and flames made it impossible to enter. Later, a reporter saw Father Ognibene, near collapse, at the morgue trying to recognize the bodies of the children he knew so well.

“It wasn't a great fire,” Jack Egan remembers, “but the smoke was unbelievable. The fire equipment was poor. The ladders didn't reach to the second floor. The children suffocated.” Father Egan accompanied a fireman into a schoolroom where forty-four children sat in parochial school decorum, at their seats, heads in hands—dead. And at the front of the room, her head in her hands, sat their teacher, like the children—erect, disciplined and dead. As Jack Egan reconstructed their last minutes, “A lot of nuns asked children to sit there and pray. I'll never forget it. Everything perfectly orderly.”

[Webaster's note: The preceeding account, which became a popular urban legend, has been completely discredited - no such thing happened in any room. A few students were found dead sitting at their desks, overcome by smoke before they could move, but never an entire class.]

The fire had erupted at 2:40 p.m., only twenty minutes before the children would have been dismissed for the day. The alarm went in at 2:42. Fire trucks were on Avers within three minutes. But smoke engulfed the second floor so quickly—the firemen called the accumulation of smoke, heat and flames that coursed through the hall when doors and windows were opened “a hot box”—that three Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and ninety-two children died. Seventy-six children were injured. The school was almost completely destroyed. “I have to admit it,” Father Egan says, describing the firemen carrying child after child out, “I was relieved when they carried the body of a nun out. They carried three out. It would have been a greater tragedy if no nuns had died along with their students.”

The whole city mourned, every citizen able to put him/herself into the position of the parents who had sent bright, lively, uniformed children to learn about the exports of Egypt that morning and now would never oversee another page of their scribbled homework. Chicagoans read about Mayor Daley's arrival at the scene, about Archbishop Meyer's visits to the injured at St. Anne's Hospital, and about the drab, yellow brick building at 1828 Polk where “three hundred mothers and fathers huddled in stricken groups or, crazed with grief, roamed the corridors trying to buttonhole hurrying attendants” at the county morgue.

Priests and Sisters from all parts of the city quickly gathered at the scene. “Thank God I was able to keep my composure,” Father Egan says today, “and thank God for the priests and Sisters of the archdiocese of Chicago. As the firemen put each child into each ambulance, I put a priest or a Sister with the child. `You stay with that child and you stay with that family,' I said.”

Jack was firm with each of the religious, understanding the stress under which each of them was operating. “This is your family,” he would stress with each one. “Now pay attention to me. You visit the hospital. You go to the wake. You sit with the family. You go to the funeral with them. You come back with them and then you visit them and visit them and visit them. You are their personal chaplain.” He followed the same routine with the families of injured children. “I think that helped the grieving parents.”

Both Fathers Egan and Joseph Fitzgerald quit their jobs and stayed at Our Lady of the Angels for the next month. “We worked morning, noon, and night,” Egan recalls. Archbishop Meyer celebrated a Solemn Pontifical Mass for twenty-seven of the fire victims on December 5 at the Northwest Armory at North Avenue and Kedzie. Funeral Masses continued throughout the day in other churches of the archdiocese for the remaining victims of the fire.

Archbishop Meyer did his best to solace the grieving parents and relatives. He was comforted in turn by a little man from New York. As priests vested for the funeral Mass at the armory, Father Egan saw Francis Cardinal Spellman come up to the archbishop, holding out his hands. The archbishop looked down with gratitude at the fellow religious who'd come to his side in this time of greatest need. The two most powerful prelates in the American Church embraced.

Father Tom McDonough, chaplain of the Calvert Club at the University of Chicago, had taken Father Egan to Florida for some much-needed recuperation after the Our Lady of the Angels fire. Walking and praying through the tragedy with the mourning families had taken a monstrous toll on the priests involved. “Monsignor Cussen, poor man, never recovered,” Father Egan recalls. “He just sat in his rocker and rocked away the rest of his life.”

Egelhof, Joseph
Chicago Tribune Reporter
Joe wrote the main story for the first edition of the Tribune following the fire.
Elia Andy
Sixth grade boy in room 204
Elkins, Margaret
Fourth grade girl
Elliott, Richard
Reporter
Elliott, a reporter for radio station WJJD, received a National Headline Club award for his excellent coverage of the OLA fire, and the still photographs he took between broadcasts.
English, George
Fourth grade boy
Ennis, Sister Mary Geraldita
Fifth/sixth grade teacher in room 207
Everyone escaped from in room 207 (but just barely) thanks to the heroic efforts of the school janitor, James Raymond and a parish priest, Father Charles Hund, who unlocked the emergency exit door of the room and led children to the fire escape just yards away. Everyone escaped and the only injury was to a boy who jumped from a window to the fire escape. Sister Geraldita suffered an emotional breakdown not long after the fire and, after recovering, was transferred to a school in Iowa. She retired from teaching in 1988, and passed away in 1997.
Erbstoesser, James
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212
Jimmy survived by jumping from a window in room 212, but suffered two broken ankles and a broken arm as a result of the fall, and was hospitalized for nearly two weeks.
Esposito, David J.
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 202
David escaped without injury. Brother of Linda and Lana Esposito, cousin of Don Muscolino.
Esposito, Lana
Third grade girl in room 101
Sister of David and Linda Esposito, cousin of Don Muscolino.
Esposito, Linda
Third grade girl in room 101
Sister of David and Lana Esposito, cousin of Don Muscolino.
Eunice, Sister Mary
First grade teacher in room 107

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- F -

Fabino, Theresa
Fourth grade girl
Fauci, Joseph
Second grade boy age 7 in room 104
Faustina, Sister Mary
Second grade teacher in room 104
Fedanzo, Gene
Sixth grade boy age 12 in room 205
Cousin of Mike Fedanzo
Fedanzo, Mike
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 204
Cousin of Gene Fedanzo
Felzan, John
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 105
Brother of Prudence Felzan.
Felzan, Prudence
Eighth grade girl age 12 in room 211
Prudence had a piano lesson at 2:30 in the convent and was therefore out of the classroom during the fire. Sister of John Felzan.
Ferlic, Frank
State Attorney's Assistant
Ferlic participated in the investigation of the fire.
Ferra, Kenneth
Fourth grade boy
Filipponio, Lucille
Fourth grade girl age 8 in room 210 (fatality)
Lucille's body was never identified. Sister of Phyllis Filipponio.
Filipponio, Phyllis
Seventh grade girl age 12
Sister of Lucille Filipponio.
Fina, JoAnn
Fifth grade girl
Fina, John
Fifth grade boy
Finnegan, Thomas
Fireman
Tom worked the OLA fire with Richard Scheidt.
Finnigan, Michael
Second grade boy
Brother of Nancy and Patrick Finnigan.
Finnigan, Nancy Rae
Eighth grade girl age 14 in room 211 (fatality)
Sister of Patrick and Michael Finnigan.
Finnigan, Patrick
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 209
Brother of Nancy and Michael Finnigan.
Fitzgerald, Rev. Msgr. Joseph
Senior Pastor at Our Lady of the Angels
Monsignor Joseph Fitzgerald was one of three senior pastors living in the rectory of Our Lady of the Angels Church at the time of the fire.
Flemming, Carol
Student Nurse
Carol was one of the student nurses at St. Anne's Hospital assigned to help care for injured students.
Florio, Celeste
Fourth grade girl age 9
Sister of Dominic Florio and cousin of Cynthia Campagna.
Florio, Dominic
Third grade boy age 8 in room 101
Brother of Celeste Florio and cousin of Cynthia Campagna.
Forbrich, Joseph
Senior pediatrician St. Anne's Hospital
Together with Dr. Thomas Moore, Dr. Forbrich led the medical teams at St. Anne's.
Forchione, Michele
Seventh grade girl age 11 in room 202
Formagus, Marie
Third grade girl age 8 in room A
Fox, Paul
Doctor at St. Anne's Hospital
Dr. Fox was Michele McBride's surgeon.
Fox, Ronald
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
Francioni, Loris
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 207
Francione, Patrick
Fifth grade boy
Friedeck, Linda
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 108
Sister of Steven Friedeck.
Friedeck, Steven
Fourth grade boy age 10 in room 210
Steven jumped from a window and received only a sprained ankle. Brother of Linda Friedeck.
Friga, Jonathan
Third grade boy age 8 in room 101
Jonathan escaped without injury. Later, after adopting the stage name Jonathan Cain, he became a keyboardist and songwriter with the group “Journey”.
Frost, Mark
First grade boy age 6
Mark escaped without injury. His classroom was most likely room 107.
Fugiel, Judith
Girl
Fugiel, Robert
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211
Robert managed to escape from room 211 at the last minute. "I will never forget when the first ladders came. They were too short and we were gasping for air and hanging out the windows, the thick black smoke rushing all around us. You could hear screams and crying in the room, and then a ladder that reached my window. I still to this day cannot remember if I was pulled out or slid down or what, but I did make it out."
Fuller, Johnnie Ann
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 205
Furlan, Emily
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 201

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- G -

Gabel, Mary Frances
Kindergarten girl age 4 in Mary Hall
Mary was one of the youngest students enrolled at OLA, and was at home with a fever on the day of the fire.
Gagliardi, Robert
Fourth grade boy age 10
Robert was one of the students assigned to carry wastepaper from his classroom to the basement. He and Chris Stoller were among the last to be in the basement before the fire was discovered.
Gagliardo, Andrea
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208
Andrea climbed out on a ledge and was eventually rescued by firemen. Cousin of Linda Barletta.
Galante, Kathleen
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 207
Sister of MaryAlice Galante, and cousin of Ronald, Joann and Billy Sarno.
Galante, MaryAlice
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 211
Sister of Kathy Galante, and cousin of Ronald, Joann and Billy Sarno.
Gallo, Frank
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 210
Frankie spent the night in the hospital for observation after jumping from a window (see Photo Gallery). Brother of Sam Gallo.
Gallo, Mike
Fifth grade boy
Gallo, Sam
Second grade boy age 7
Brother of Frank Gallo.
Garrett, Mrs. Mary
(See Miss Mary Herlihy)
Gasinski, James
Fourth grade boy
Gasteie, Janet
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Gatto, Judith
Third grade girl age 8 in room 109
Gavin, John
Chicago Tribune Reporter
John was a north side police reporter who was dispatched to the scene.
Gazzola, Carol Ann
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
Gazzola, Danny
Sixth grade boy age 11
Twin brother of Dianne Gazzola and cousin of Carol Ann Gazzola.
Gazzola, Dianne
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 203
Twin sister of Danny Gazzola and cousin of Carol Ann Gazzola. Dianne was rescued by Father Ognibene, who carried her out of the school.
Geanto, Micheal
Fourth grade boy age 9
Gecan, Michael
Fourth grade boy
George, Carol
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 204
Geraci, Phillip
Third grade boy
Phillip escaped his first floor north wing classroom without injury.
Gerbensky, Marie
Girl
Gerlach, Chuck
Seventh grade boy age 11 in room 201
Chuck later married Catherine Vitacco, a survivor of room 104.
Giacomino, Michael
Seventh grade boy age 13 in room 208
Giambalvo, Judy
Third grade girl age 8 in room A
Giesel, Pamela Ann
Fifth grade girl age 11
Pamela has "vivid memories of the day of almost dying until a fireman came up the stairs and carried me to the street."
Giglio, Frank
Second grade boy age 7 in room 104
Gilbert, Ellen
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 204
Giunta, Joe
Sixth grade boy age 12 in room 203
Glanz, Charles William
Chicago Policeman
Charlie (October 11, 1931 - May 10, 2000) was a native of Chicago. He became a policeman for the Chicago Park District and went on to become a plainclothes detective for the Chicago Police Force. During his time as a Park District police officer, he was one of the first people on the scene at the Our Lady of the Angels school fire in 1958 and helped a number of children escape. Charlie was a die-hard Cubs fan and one of the highlights of his youth was when, as a young boy, he got to be a substitute bat boy for the visiting team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, at a home Cubs game. He was a paratrooper in the 11th Airborne Division and in the 187th Regimental Combat Team in the Korean War. He left the Chicago Police force shortly after the OLA fire, becoming a hotel manager for a time, and in 1965 went into advertising with the Chicago American Newspaper, retiring in 1995. With wife Barbara, he was father to four children: Garrett, Gavin, Gretchen and Erin.
Glanz, Edward
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211
Glasgow, Maria
Eighth grade girl age 13
Maria suffered burns to her arm, shoulder and forehead, but recovered after treatment at St. Anne's Hospital. Cousin of Susan and MaryAnn Smaldone.
Glowacki, Barbara
Proprietor of grocery next door to school
Barbara placed the second call to the fire department just seconds after Nora Maloney placed the first call at 2:42 pm. She later helped victims in the alley on the north side of the school. Her daughter, Helena, was attending the school but escaped safely.
Glowacki, Helena
Second grade girl age 7
Daughter of Barbara Glowacki, proprietor of a small grocery store adjacent to the school.
Gorman, William
Fire Department Chaplain
Gorski, John
Third grade boy age 8
Gorski, Theresa
Fifth grade girl age 10
Grady, Frank
Chicago Police Arson Investigator
Grady was one of four arson investigators present at the fire who began investigating possible causes for the fire even before it was extinguished.
Gramarossa, Leonard
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 208
Grasso, Lawrence
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
Larry made it to a window, but time ran out before he could escape. From classmate Edward Glanz: “Larry and Millicent Corsiglia were next to me at the window with a long ladder, where Fireman Kamin was pulling us out.” Tragically, the classroom flashed over mere seconds before Larry could be rescued.
Graziano, Joseph A.
Eighth grade boy age 12 in room 209
“This will be a day I will never forget. We heard somebody scream that the roof was on fire. We couldn't see anything. Kids fell on the floor screaming.” Joe suffered second and third degree burns over 30% of his body, and spent a month in the hospital.
Grieco, Lucille
Fifth grade girl in room 105
Lucille escaped without injury.
Griffin, Colleen
Girl
Sister of Kevin, Terry and Connell Griffin.
Griffin, Connell
Second grade boy age 7 in room 103
Brother of Kevin, Terry and Colleen Griffin.
Griffin, Kevin
Sixth grade boy age 12 in room 205
Kevin survived the fire and smoke filled stairway thanks to Andy Salemi's bright white shirt. “I followed it to the stairway and out onto Iowa street. I always wanted to thank him and his mom for that shirt. It saved my life.”   Brother of Terry, Connell and Colleen Griffin.
Griffin, Terry
Fourth grade boy
Brother of Kevin, Connell and Colleen Griffin.
Grimaldi, Frank
Fifth grade boy age 11 in room 201
Frank escaped without injury. Brother of Mary Anne Grimaldi, son of Daniel Grimaldi.
Grimaldi, Daniel
Parent
Daniel was returning home from nearby barbershop, when he saw children streaming out of the school. “I ran to the school and went right in through the front door. It seemed all right there, so I ran upstairs. As soon as I got to the second floor, I saw smoke so thick you couldn't move. The boys and girls were screaming for help. I shouted 'Grab my hand.' Some of them grabbed my hand and I led them back down the stairs. ” He soon found that his two children, Frank and Mary Anne, had safely escaped on their own. Father of Frank and Mary Anne Grimaldi.
Grimaldi, Mary Anne
Girl age 8
Sister of Frank Grimaldi, daughter of Daniel Grimaldi.
Grizzoffi, John
Third grade boy age 8 in room 101
John escaped without injury.
Grosso, James
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 206
Jim was sent on an errand to the basement by his teacher when he encountered smoke. He returned to his classroom and reported it to his teacher, who soon evacuated his class safely.
Grzeskiewicz, Mary Margaret
Fourth grade girl in room 108
Grzeskiewicz, Ronald
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 204
Guarini, Michael A.
Fourth grade boy in room 108
Gudz, Jerome
Boy
Brother of Rosemary Gudz.
Gudz, Rosemary
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 209
Sister of Jerome Gudz.
Gudzick, Frank
Boy
Guerino, Katherine
Fourth grade girl
Guerrieri, John
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211
John was helping with a clothing drive at the church and was not injured.
Guzaldo, Frances
Eighth grade girl age 12 in room 211 (fatality)
Cousin of Michael Guzaldo and Frank Piscopo.
Guzaldo, Michael
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 201
Cousin of Frances Guzaldo and Frank Piscopo.
Guzaldo, Patrick
Fifth grade boy age 11
Pat escaped without injury. He passed away in February 4, 1994.
Guzzo, Frank
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211
Twin brother of Rosalie Guzzo.
Guzzo, Rosalie
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 209
Twin sister of Frank Guzzo.

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- H -

Hagerty, Kathleen
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
Handschiegel, Thomas
Seventh grade boy in room 208
Thomas escaped down a ladder without injury along with his friend, Serge Uccetta.
Hanneman, Carolyn
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212
Carol suffered minor burns before escaping down a ladder.
Harders, Ron
Sixth grade boy
Hardiman, Msgr. James C.
Msgr. Hardiman, secretary to Archbishop Meyer, accompanied the prelate to the fire.
Hardy, Richard
Fifth grade boy age 9 in room 212 (fatality)
Harper, George
Fireman
Harper was a member of Hook and Ladder Company 26.
Hart, Jean
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 209
Harte, Kathryn Agnes
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 203
Kathy died of a brain aneurysm in June 1961 at age 13.
Hartman, Kara
Kindergarten girl age 5 in Mary Hall
Sister of Marie and Ramona Hartman.
Hartman, Marie
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210
Mary was severely burned but survived. Sister of Kara and Ramona Hartman.
Hartman, Ramona
Third grade girl age 8 in room 101
Sister of Marie and Kara Hartman.
Hasking, Michael
Boy
Hayes, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Patrick J.
Pastor of Holy Name Cathedral
Fr. Hayes was at the scene.
Hedderman, Joseph
Chief Fire Alarm Operator
Helaine, Sister Mary
Eighth grade teacher in room 211
Hennessey, Thomas
Fireman
Member of Rescue Squad 1.
Herlihy, Miss Mary (later Mrs. Garrett)
Second grade teacher in room 102
She later married and became Mrs. Garrett
Hester, Roger
Fireman
Lt. Hester was in command of Hook and Ladder Company 26.
Hewlett, Leroy
Neighbor
Leroy, who lived at 854 N. Avers, diagonally across from the school, heard children screaming and ran to the street just as the first fire department units arrived. “Kids were hanging from windows, jumping or falling in groups of three or four at a time. Smoke and flames poured from windows. A little girl stood at the window of a ledge on the second floor screaming for help.”
Hill, Hugh
CBS reporter
Hill covered the tragedy for CBS news. “I was in the newsroom at WBBM radio and looked at the ticker and it said a 2-11 at a school on the west side. When we got there, we realized that this was an enormous, enormous fire. You could tell it was because firemen were bringing bodies out. At the time, I had five children and they were all young. And these little bodies of school students were brought out and they were covered by a blanket, except for their shoes. You'd see their bodies come out and the shoes. And it made me think of my own children. So we then went from a school fire to the morgue where the bodies were laid out and the next three days, funerals. It was a horrendous scene. So sad. People crying. Reporters, hard-nosed reporters, crying. Believe me, we were crying. It was the worst thing I have ever seen.”
Hobik, Karen
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
Sister of Wayne and Mary Ellen.
Hobik, Mary Ellen
Fourth grade girl in room 106
Sister of Wayne and Karen Hobik.
Hobik, Wayne
Sixth grade boy
Brother of Karen and Mary Ellen Hobik.
Hoblit, Laura
Sixth grade girl
Cousin of Beverly, Dale and Frank Burda and of Dennis and David DeBoer.
Hogan, John J.
Attorney
Hogan was the attorney who advised janitor James Raymond during his questioning before the Coroner's Inquest.
Holden, Henry
Fireman
Holden was a member of Engine Company 85, the first Company to arrive at the fire. He worked with other members of his company attempting to rescue children from room 212.
Hosking, Barbara
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Howard, James Jr.
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 209
In addition to severe burns, James suffered a head injury while jumping from a window in his second floor classroom. He spent several months recovering at St. Anne's Hospital, including nearly a month in a coma.
Hudson, Marne
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 211
Marne fell or was pushed from a window and was hospitalized with multiple broken bones, a lacerated tongue, and gravel embedded in the skin of her face. She was released from the hospital on Christmas Eve.
Hund, Rev. Charles
Associate pastor living in the rectory at the time of the fire
Father Hund, together with janitor James Raymond, rescued the children and teacher from room 207 by unlocking the back classroom door, allowing students and teacher to flee down the school's only fire escape.

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- I -

Igini, John P.
Doctor
John was the former chief of surgery at St. Anne's Hospital, and was serving on staff there the day of the OLA fire, when dozens of victims were brought to St. Anne's.
Imburgia, Salvatore
Fireman
Imburgia was a member of Hook and Ladder Company 36.

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- J -

Jacobellis, Kathleen
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 106
Sister of the Victor Jacobellis in room 206, who survived.
Jacobellis, Victor
Fifth grade boy in room 206
Victor escaped without injury. He was one of two boys named Victor Jacobellis enrolled at OLA on December 1, 1958. Brother of Kathy Jacobellis.
Jacobellis, Victor
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Victor died December 5, 1958 from a head injury suffered while jumping from a window, not from burns.
Jajkowski, John Jr.
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
John was a 10-year-old fifth grader in Mary Clare Therese Champaigne's class in room 212. Fire did not invade his classroom to the extent it did the other second floor north wing classrooms. Nevertheless, like the other students who died in room 212, John died from asphyxiation. Newspaper photographer Steve Lasker snapped a picture of fireman Richard Scheidt carrying John's body out the northwest door of the school. The photo was subsequently published in newspapers around the world and came to symbolize the tragedy at Our Lady of the Angels.
Jalowietki, Mary
Parent
Jalowietki attempted unsuccessfully to enter the school to search for her son, but the heavy smoke made it impossible. Mother of Ronald Jalowietki.
Jalowiecki, Ronald
Boy on first floor of north wing
James, Robert
Fireman
Robert was treated and released at Garfield Park Hospital for minor injuries suffered while fighting the OLA fire.
Jameson, Matthew
First grade boy age 6 in Joseph Hall
Cousin of Rick Cozzola.
Jamrock, Michael
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 203
Michael sat in the back of the room next the door and was one of the first to smell smoke. He yelled "someone is burning eggs", and the teacher then discovered the fire and led the class to safety.
Janik, Casey
Milkman
A passing milkman saw smoke coming from the school, ran inside and dragged a number of pupils to safety, including one girl frozen in terror on a stairwell who was blocking the escape of others. From Casey's neice: "Every time I saw him from that day on, I would have tears in my eyes due to the admiration I had for him. I would recount his heroism to everyone as I introduced him. Unfortunately, this wonderful, brave man passed away fairly recently, and Chicago, indeed perhaps mankind, has lost a real hero. I will never forget him."
Jerard, Arthur
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 210
Arthur escaped down a ladder with minor burn injuries that did not require hospitalization. Today [2015] he is retired and living in Arizona. Brother of Paula Jerard.
Jerard, Paula
Kindergarten girl age 5 in Mary Hall
Sister of Arthur Jerard.
Johnita, Sister Mary
Fifth grade teacher in room 105
Johnston, Robert
First grade boy age 6 in room 108
Robert was in one of the rooms in the “back” of the school. Normally, he went into the front door (the door on the same street as the church). Robert's room was in the back, to the right. His big sister, Valerie Jean, walked him to his room every morning. The walk to school was about a mile for they were on the last block of the Parish (Christiana). At age 17, Robert enlisted into the Army and made it his career. He has been married 4 times, has been trained as a CNA and EMT and has taken some classes for his LPN degree. For a literature class, he wrote a story about his experience that day. It was the first time he talked about it in any way, since the day he was brought home about 6 pm, on 12-1-58. His teacher thought at first it was a drill, so all the children went to the cloak room and got all of their things -- right down to mittens and lunchpail. It was not unusual for Robert to dawdle on his way home if his sister was not with him, so his mother didn't worry. They heard lots of sirens but never dreamed where they were going. The phone rang and it was the neighbor telling Mrs. Johnston that the school was on fire. His mother dropped the phone, turned off the pot on the stove and had Robert's sister watch the 3 little children so she could go to the school. A friend met her at her door as she was going out. Mrs. Johnston was about 4 months pregnant with her 6th child. There was an ice storm that day and the streets were slippery. When they got there, the firefighters were pouring water into where Robert's room was and she passed out. Mr. Johnston was a police officer in the district and was told to go home to see to his family. He arrived home before Mrs. Johnston could get there. After that, who did what and when gets a little fuzzy. Mrs. Johnston's parents came over, Mr. Johnston called and called -- hospitals, morgue, his district etc. If he was able to get through on the lines, he wasn't getting any answers as to where his son was. About 6 pm, an unfamiliar car pulled in front of the house. A lady got out, then Robert. When Mr. Johnston ran out to him, the reunion was indiscribable. It was then that the family found out that the nun took the children away from the fire and placed them into neighborhood homes. Of course, no one in the neighborhood could even think of leaving for awhile and not all the children could remember their phone number or address. Robert just knew the way home. Brother of Valerie Johnston.
Johnston, Valerie
Second grade girl age 7 in room 103
Sister of Robert Johnston.
Joyce, John
Fourth grade boy

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- K -

Kafka, Josephine
Seventh grade girl age 13
Kaiser, Gerold
Seventh grade boy in room 201
Kalanges, James
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 208
James was one of the first to jump from a window in his classroom, but suffered a broken hip, leg and arm in doing so.
Kalinowski, Angeline
Eighth grade girl age 14 in room 211 (fatality)
Kaletta, Ken
Eighth grade boy in room 211
Ken escaped by jumping from a window. Brother of Stanley Kaletta.
Kaletta, Stanley
Eighth grade boy
Brother of Ken Kaletta.
Kameczura, Paul
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 204
Brother of Robert Kameczura.
Kameczura, Robert
Fourth grade boy age 8 in room 108
Brother of Paul Kameczura.
Kamin, Charles M., Sr.
Fireman
When Charles Kamin, leading Hook and Ladder Company 35, arrived at the school, he and his crew saw the desperate situation in the courtyard between the north and south wings of the school. Children in rooms 209 and 211 were hanging out the windows, yelling and screaming, some jumping. He and his crew placed a ladder at the front window of room 211, which Kamin quickly scaled and began rescuing children. He repeatedly reached in and grabbed students, primarily boys because he could grab them by their belt, lifted them out and dropped them on the ladder below him. The situation in the room deteriorated fast, though. After rescuing 8 to 10 children, the air inside the room reached ignition temperature and the entire room erupted in flames, forcing Kamin back from the window. In horror, he watched as the remaining children disappeared in the conflagration. Later that evening, he was treated and released from Garfield Park Hospital for minor injuries.

Kamin and his crew were credited with saving 63 of the 160 children and nuns saved by the fire department at the OLA fire. After retiring from the fire department as a lieutenant in 1977, he and his wife moved to Dolores, Colorado. On November 15, 1992, at age 72, Charles Kamin was killed in an automobile accident in Colorado on November 15, 1992.

Karkoszka, Christina
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 203
Chris escaped without injury, met her brothers in the church and went home. Sister of Henry and Joseph Karkoszka.
Karkoszka, Henry
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 201
Brother of Christina and Joseph Karkoszka.
Karkoszka, Joseph
Third grade boy age 8 in room 101
Brother of Christina and Henry Karkoszka.
Karlo, Gerald
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 206
Karwack, Diane
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Katzmarek, Ann
Third grade girl age 8 in room A
Sister of Linda Katzmarek
Katzmarek, Linda
First grade girl age 6
Sister of Ann Katzmarek
Kearney, Richard
First grade boy age 6 in Joseph Hall
Kearney, Tom
Second grade boy age 7 in room 104
Kehoe, James
Fire Department arson investigator
Lieutenant Kehoe was one of the investigators assigned to investigate the OLA fire.
Kelley, Sister Mary Seraphica
Fourth grade teacher in room 210, age 43 (fatality)
Sister Seraphica was born Anne Virginia Kelley in Chicago on November 12, 1915 and entered the BVM Community on September 8, 1933. Her first teaching assignment was to Annunciation School in Chicago, where she served until 1956, at which time she was assigned to Our Lady of the Angels.
Kellner, James
Boy
Brother of Wayne Kellner and cousin of Cheryl McLean.
Kellner, Wayne
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 206
Brother of Jim Kellner and cousin of Cheryl McLean.
Kelly, Leroy
Fireman
Kelly was a member of Truck 36, which responded to the second (box) alarm, and was the second truck company to arrive at the fire. His company laddered the north side of the building and helped rescue students from those north side classrooms. Leroy passed away at age 81 on August 22, 2010.
Kern, Cynthia
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 209
Kern, Tom
Boy age 12
King, Joseph Anthony
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Brother of Mary and William King
King, William
Boy age 10
William was absent due to illness on the day of the fire. Brother of Joseph and Mary King
King, Mary
Fourth grade girl age 9
Sister of Joseph and William King
Kinsella, James
Second grade boy
James escaped without injury. Brother of Thomas Kinsella.
Kinsella, Thomas
Eighth grade boy age 14 in room 211
Thomas was hospitalized as a result of the fire. Brother of James Kinsella.
Kizior, Mrs. Lorraine
Third/Fourth grade teacher in room 108 (she took over this class from Sister Mary Rufina for part of the school year while Sister Rufina recovered from an extended illness
Klaus, Sister Mary Almunda
St. Anne's Hospital administrator
Klein, Karen
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 203
Kleinaitis, Joyce
Fourth grade girl
Klock, Ed
Elderly neighbor
74-year-old Klock, who lived near the school and was ill with a heart condition, suffered a stroke and was hospitalized after attempting to catch children plunging down from rooms 208, 210 and 212.
Klock, Ella
Elderly neighbor
Mrs. Klock, wife of Ed who attempted to catch jumping children, ran back home after seeing children being injured while jumping and called the fire department, saying “send all the ambulances in the city!”
Kobus, John
Second grade boy
John became an Archdiocean Priest. From Irene Becker: "John is now a wonderful Spiritual Director at Saint Mary of Nazareth Hospital Center. He has always been 'down to earth', loving, caring and wanting to help everyone. I never realized he was a survivor of Our Lady of the Angels, but I'm glad God spared him so that we may benefit from knowing him. He has helped me personally on many occasions. Thank you John and God love you." John passed away on September 17, 2011.
Kobus, Milt
Seventh grade boy
Kompanowski, Kenneth
Eighth grade boy age 14 in room 211 (fatality)
Kenneth's brother Richard was also killed at Our Lady of the Angels. The Kompanowski brothers were one of two pairs of siblings killed.
Kompanowski, Richard
Fourth grade boy age 10 in room 210 (fatality)
Richard's brother Kenneth was also killed at Our Lady of the Angels. The Kompanowski brothers were one of two pairs of siblings killed.
Komperda, John
Fourth grade boy
Koncel, Elizabeth
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208
Elizabeth was burned on her arm and back when she opened one of the room 208 doors to see if the class could get out via the main hallway - they of course could not. She spent three weeks in the hospital recovering from her injuries.
Konley, Mary
Second grade girl age 7 in room 102?
Konley, Sally
Fourth grade girl
Kopis, Deborah
Preschooler
“On that day, I was playing on our back porch which faced the alleyway and to the left about a half block was the school. I remember seeing smoke and telling that to my Mom. In a panic, she rushed with me down to the school to find my brother. I don't recall how long it took but it seemed like forever. People were screaming and crying...my mom was crying, I was crying and we couldn't find my brother. It was chaos. As it turned out, kids that left school went to area homes to keep warm and we eventually found my brother. Our neighbor and family friends were not as fortunate and lost their son Mark Stachura in the fire. Even though I was very young, that day is etched in my memory.” Sister of Theodore Kopis.
Kopis, Theodore
Second grade boy age 7
Brother of Deborah Kopis.
Kotalik, Robert
Photographer
Kotalik, a photographer with the Chicago Sun-Times, took many of the photos at the fire that appeared in the newspaper. Later, he became the Sun-Times' chief photographer, retiring in 1990. Robert passed away on May 29, 2013.
Kotrba, Darlene
Bethel Lutheran School Fifth Grader
After being dismissed from her fifth grade class at Bethel Lutheran School, located a mile and a half from OLA, Darlene heard sirens and saw smoke. She and a classmate decided to follow the fire trucks to the fire, and watched as the horror unfolded.
Kowalczyk, James
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211
One of several children rescued from room 211 by fireman Charles Kamin. His strongest memory after the fire was how difficult it was to breath due to the heavy smoke. He was hospitalized with serious burns.
Koziol, Carol
Second grade girl age 7 in room 102
Fortunately, Carol was absent from school the day of the fire.
Krajewski, Connie
Fifth grade girl age 10
Sister of James Krajewski.
Krajewski, James
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 208
James was hospitalized until February 25, 1959, after breaking his back and both ankles while jumping from a window in room 208. “It got real hot. I don't remember deciding to jump,” Jimmy recalled as he lay in his hospital bed. Brother of Connie Krajewski.
Krajecke, Albert
Policeman
Father of Pamela Krajecke.
Krajecke, Pamela
Girl
Daughter of policeman Albert Krajecke.
Krause, Geraldine
Eighth grade girl age 15
Krulick, William J.
Physician
Krulick was the Chief of Staff at Franklin Boulevard Hospital, and helped coordinate treatment of injured children.
Kucan, Margaret
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Kuzma, Patricia
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212 (fatality)

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LaBati, Lorraine
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 207
LaBrant, Cynthia
First grade girl age 6 in room 107
LaMantia, Annette
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Lanse, Jackie
Nurse at St. Anne's Hospital
Jackie helped care for the children who arrived at St. Anne's Hospital.
Landers, Matthew
Chicago policeman
Landers was one of the first policemen to arrive at the scene, arriving before the fire department.
LaPlaca, Rose Ann
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
Rose Ann was identified only through dental records.
Larimer, Keith
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 110
(Brother of Paul Larimer)
Larimer, Paul
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 202
(Brother of Keith Larimer)
Larkin, Mary
Girl
LaRocco, Bonnie
First grade girl age 6 in south wing
LaRocco, Casey
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212
Lasker, Steve
Chicago American Newspaper Photographer
Steve Lasker snapped a picture of fireman Richard Scheidt carrying 10-year-old victim John Jajkowski from the school. The picture was widely circulated and became something of a symbol of the heartbreaking tragedy at Our Lady of the Angels.
LaSusa, Marianne
Fourth grade girl in room 106
Laterza, Donna
Seventh grade girl in room 208
Latianzio, Mary
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 202
Lawler, Rt. Rev. Msgr. James M.
Archdiocesan director of Propagation of the Faith
Fr. Lawler was at the scene.
Lawlor, Felicia
Junior Nursing Student
Felicia was a junior nursing student at St. Anne's hospital who helped care for severly burned children. The most difficult memories she has is of “the physical suffering of the children and the emotional suffering of the families. There were parents and priests all over the place, going in and out of rooms, looking for children. It was shocking to hear a parents saying: `I think this is my child, but I'm not sure.'”
Leahy, James
Fourth grade boy age 8 in room 210
Lego, Andrew
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 208
Andrew escaped from room 208 with only minor injuries by dropping from the window ledge to the roof covering the entrance to the basement chapel and then to the ground.
Lemak, Nancyann
First grade girl age 6
Leonard, Kenneth
Fourth grade boy age 10 in room 210
Kenneth sustained burns to his legs before being rescued from his burning classroom by an unknown fireman. He was treated and released from Franklin Boulevard Hospital. Kenneth recently retired as Chief from Oak Lawn, Illinois Fire Department. Brother of Michael and Robert Leonard.
Leonard, Michael
Fifth grade boy in room 206
Brother of Robert and Kenneth Leonard.
Leonard, Robert
Boy
Brother of Michael and Kenneth Leonard.
Leskowki, Diane
Girl
Letizia, Albert S.
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 203
Albert escaped without injury.
Lock, Gail
Fourth grade girl
Loconti, Donald
Third grade boy
Loconti, Michael
Fourth grade boy
Loconti, Ronald
First grade boy
Lombardo, Frank
Third grade boy age 8 in room 101
Frank escaped without injury.
Lombardo, Teressa
Fourth grade girl age 9
Teressa's classroom was on the first floor, probably room 106 or 108. Sisster of Anthony Lombardo.
Lombardo, Anthony
Kindergarten boy age 5 in Mary Hall
Brother of Teressa Lombardo.
Longo, Rocco
Third grade boy age 10 in room A
LoPresto, Martin
Boy age 6
Losurdo, Dina
Forth grade girl age 9 in room 210
Dina jumped into a firemen's net and was crushed as other students landed on top of her. She was also burned on her legs.
Loucks, Susan
Fourth grade girl
Loveless, Louise
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210
Louise was severely burned but survived.
Lozano, Carlos
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212
Carlos was admitted to St. Anne's Hospital with a leg injury sustained when jumping from a window of his second floor classroom.
Luberda, James
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 208
Jim escaped by hanging and dropping from the second floor window ledge above the covered stairwell leading to the basement chapel.
Lubke, John
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211
John suffered a back injury jumping from a window of room 211. He was hospitalized for five days following the fire. Brother of Fred Lubke.
Lubke, Fred
Fourth grade boy age 10 in room 210
Fred suffered burns and remained hospitalized for three weeks after the fire. Brother of John Lubke.
Lucchesi, Karen
First grade girl age 6 in room 107
Lursodo, Dina
Fourth grade girl in room 210
Dina was severely burned from the waist down but survived.
Lynch, Msgr. Lawrence W.
Archdiocesan director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine
Fr. Lynch was at the scene.
Lyng, Sister Mary St. Canice
Seventh grade teacher in room 208, age 44 (fatality)
Sister St. Canice was born Mary Lyng in Chicago on October 11, 1914 and entered the BVM Community on September 8, 1932. Her first teaching assignment was Our Lady of the Angels. Later, she taught at St. Charles School in North Hollywood, California. Later, she became Sister Superior at St. Mary's School in DeKalb, Illinois. After that, she returned to a teaching assignment at her first school, Our Lady of the Angels.

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Machaj, Patrick
Boy age 11
Patrick was one of the boys who carried waste papers from his classroom to the basement not long before the fire broke out. He dumped his waste paper in a container in the boiler room, but saw nothing out of the ordinary while completing this routine chore.
Maffiola, Joseph
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Joseph was ostensibly the first fatality removed from the school. Joey was removed by firemen from room 212 down a ladder and rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Maggerise, Edward
Eighth grade boy in room 209
Edward was the first student to jump from the rear window of room 209 to the small canopy below in the courtyard. Other students soon followed, and still others were helped out that window by Father Ognibene and Sam Tortorice.
Maita, Phillip
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 205
Phillip escaped without injury.
Makowski, Raymond
Eighth grade boy age 12 in room 211 (fatality)
Malinski, Jerry
Seventh grade boy age 12 in south wing
Brother of Linda Malinski.
Malinski, Linda
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Sister of Jerry Malinski.
Maloney, Nora
Rectory housekeeper/cook who placed the first call to the fire department
Nora worked in the rectory so when janitor James Raymond ran in and yelled for her to call the fire department, she reported the Iowa Street address of the rectory when she called. Thus, when the fire department arrived they parked on Iowa Street and began setting up around the corner from the true fire location in the north wing of the school. When firemen discovered this, they had to reposition their trucks and equipment, costing valuable minutes.
Macaluso, Sam
Boy age 14 at Cameron School
Sam attended Cameron Elementary, but attended Our Lady of the Angels for religious instruction and received his First Holy Communion there. He was running an errand for his mom when he heard that the OLA school was on fire.

“I was sent to the grocery store at Hamlin and Division, as I recall, for a loaf of bread. After leaving the store, a kid around my age yelled to me that Our Lady of the Angels School was on fire. Bread in hand, I ran to the school and saw smoke in back where I couldn't get to. It didn't look big at the time and nobody was even there, so as a kid, I didn't think much of it and thought that it would be taken care of. Besides, as I recall, I couldn't get any closer or I would have.

“I returned home to drop off the bread and then went back to see what happened. I don't remember if that was a few minutes or an hour later, but when I returned I was really shocked to see it was a big fire with children dying.

“It was something I'll never forget. I don't think anyone could. I think what effected me the most was the sounds of mothers screaming for their child and the sight of sheet-covered bodies being carried out by firemen. I had nightmares for a few months after that.

“Looking at the faces of the ones that died hurts my heart -- some I knew and some just remember seeing in our area. The stories started flowing after that, some good and some bad.

“I feel for all the parents, relatives, and friends who were affected, and for the firemen who have to carry the burden of what they see and face the dangers that they do.”

Mancini, Michalene
Sixth grade girl in room 203
Manganello, Elizabeth
First grade girl in Joseph Hall
Sister of John Manganello.
Manganello, John
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Brother of Elizabeth Manganello.
Marcello, James
Boy
Cousin of Carl and Joann Olandese.
Marcheselle, Diane
Girl age 12
Diane was treated for injuries at Walther Memorial Hospital.
Marcheschi, Diane
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208
Diane broke her arm when she fell trying to reach a too-short ladder.
Margherone, Tom
Kindergarten boy age 5 in Mary Hall
Margo, Dominique and Ann
Nearby Residents
Dominique and Ann assisted numerous hurt and terrified children who managed to escape the school.
Marie, Sister Mary Ann
First grade teacher in room Joseph Hall
Marino, Betti
Second grade girl age 7 in room 104
Cousin of Joseph Petruzzi.
Marraccini, Linda
Eighth grade girl in room 209
Sister of Richard Marraccini.
Marraccini, Richard
Boy
Brother of Linda Marraccini.
Martens, Willard (Jess)
Fireman
Martens was a member of Hook and Ladder Company 35. He worked the life nets with fireman Romanczak until the rate of falling bodies overwhelmed their net, at which point they discarded the net and simply tried to catch or break the fall of as many children as possible.
Martinelli, Don
Third grade boy
Marzullo, Margie
Seventh grade girl in room 208
Margie escaped without injury. She was helping with a birthday party in room 107 when the fire alarm rang, and helped the first graders exit the building safely.
Mash, Gordon
Sixth grade boy in room 207
Mason, Michael
First grade boy age 6 in Joseph Hall
Michael was six years old and in the first grade in Joseph Hall, away from the main building. Joseph Hall was not involved in the fire, but he was witness to the chaos and terror of that day. Today, Michael is a firefighter in Downers Grove, IL, and also a jazz musician who has created a memorial CD entitled “Angels of Fire”. The CD was “created in the hopes to help heal the grief as well as provide a continual remembrance for all children in the past, present and future who may be affected from flames. It is also a tribute to firefighters who have and will always risk their lives to suppress fire's merciless destruction in their efforts to save lives”.
Massoni, Pauline
Girl age 13
Pauline was admitted to St. Anne's Hospital.
Mastell, Gloria Jean
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 209
Gloria escaped through the rear window of the classroom and into the annex, with the help of parent Sam Tortorice.
Mayenschein, Patrice Durkin
Second grade girl age 7 in room 104
McBride, Michele
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 209
Michele was burned over 60% of her body and hospitalized for four and a half months. She underwent numerous operations which continued for years afterwards. The fire that ravaged her body left her in continuous, lifelong pain. In 1979 Michele wrote a book, “The Fire That Will Not Die,” detailing her experiences the day of the fire, and her life thereafter. Her pain finally ended on July 4, 2001 when she died of multiple organ failure, no doubt a result of damage inflicted by fire so many years before.
McCarron, Walter E.
Cook County Coroner
McCarron conducted a Coroner's Inquest to determine the cause of death (cause of the fire) of the victims. The panel was unable to reach a conclusion.
McCone, Jack
Fireman
McCone was a member of Squad 6. Working in the courtyard of the school, he attempted to catch children jumping from the windows of rooms 209 and 211, the two eighth grade classrooms. As eighth graders, these were generally the largest children in the school, and McCone suffered a double hernia from his attempts to catch them.
McCormic, William
Fourth grade boy
McDonald, Joann
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208
Joann sustained a broken ankle jumping from her classroom window.
McDonnell, Rev. Msgr. Joseph
One of four associate pastors living in the rectory at the time of the fire
McLean, Cheryl
Girl
Cousin of Wayne and Jim Kellner.
McManus, Rev. Msgr. William
Superintendant of Catholic Schools in the Chicago Archdiocese
McManus was appointed Superintendant in 1957 by then Chicago Archbishop Cardinal Samuel Stritch.
McPolin, Patrick
Police Chaplain
McPolin was a chaplain with the Chicago Police Department at the time of the fire. He recalls that residue at the fire scene left his hands oily and stained the paper on which he kept notes. In the aftermath, he helped families with the horrific job of trying to identify the remains of their children.
McTigue
Policeman
McTigue (first name unknown) reportedly gave Alfred Andreoli, father of three children in the school, a ride from near his clothing store on Chicago avenue to the school.
Means, Anita
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 207
Sister of Jerry Means.
Means, Jerry
Fourth grade boy age 9
Brother of Anita Means.
Meissinger, Kathy
Girl in south wing
Meisinger, Judy
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room B
Meisinger, Kathy
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 202
Mele, John Joseph
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212 (fatality). Brother of Mary Louise Mele.
Mele, Mary Louise
Girl
Sister of John Mele. Mary Louise passed away in 2005.
Meneghetti, Ralph
Second grade boy age 7
Meyer, Rev. Albert George
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago
At the time of his appointment as Archbishop of Chicago in September 1958, Rev. Meyer, former Archbishop of Milwaukee, was the youngest archbishop in the U.S.
Miceli, Dorothy
Girl age 7
Dorothy walked to school with Joanne Sarno, who only hours later perished in room 210.
Michaelski, Mike
Fourth grade boy
Michals, Michelene
Third grade girl age 8 in room 101
Michielutti, Steve
Boy
Miehle, Louis "Bud"
Fireman
"Bud wasn't one to show his emotions, but when he came home and told me about that fire, he just broke down and cried," his wife said. "He and the other firemen felt helpless, watching children scramble for their lives and jumping out of windows. He said he left a part of his heart there that day." Bud passed away on May 27, 2003.
Milazzo, George
Fifth grade boy
Miller, Barbara
Junior Nursing Student
Barbara was a 20-year-old junior nursing student at St. Anne's hospital. She was one of the many student nurses assigned to help senior medical staff care for injured children.
Miller, Diane
First grade girl age 7
Miller, Janice
Fourth grade girl age 9
Miller, Jerry
Fireman
Jerry was a member of Engine Company 95, the first company, along with Truck Company 26, on the west side of the school.
Minnick, James E.
Fireman
Minnick was a Chicago Fire Department Engineer with Engine Company 77, who fought the OLA fire. He passed away on October 24, 1994.
Modica, Joseph
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
An unlikely rumor arose after the fire that Joey had escaped unharmed but ran back into the burning school in search of his younger sister, and was overcome by smoke. In any event, his sister managed to escape without injury. Joey had almost finished making a Christmas present for his family using letters cut from a cereal box and glued onto a backing. It read: “I, Joseph, promise to do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to be square and to” ... It was the Cub Scout Promise, and he never finished it. Brother of MaryAnne Modica, cousin of Jeanie Catalano.
Modica, MaryAnne
Second grade girl age 7
Sister of Joseph Modica, cousin of Jeanie Catalano.
Mohr, Harry
Fireman
Mohr was a CFD Deputy Marshall, and one of the first to enter the second floor classrooms via the windows on the north side.
Mika, Judy
Girl
Mola, Frank
Fifth grade boy in room 212
Molitor, John
Eighth grade boy in room 209
Monroe, Clarence
Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Monroe performed numerous skin grafts on fire victims.
Montano, Cornel
Boy age 8
Brother of Patricia Montano.
Montano, Patricia
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208
Patricia was hospitalized for two months recovering from burn injuries. Today (2008) she lives in a Chicago suburb with her husband. They have two children and several grandchildren. Sister of Cornel Montano.
Montedore, John
Seventh grade boy age 13
John was interviewed on television the evening of the fire about his experiences that afternoon.
Moore, Thomas
Senior Internist St. Anne's Hospital
Together with Dr. Joseph Forbrich, Dr. Moore led the medical teams at St. Anne's.
Moore, Thomas
Fireman
Moore was a member of Engine Company 85, the first Company to arrive at the fire.
Mootz, Michaelene
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208
Michaelene escaped with minor injuries by hanging from a window ledge of room 208, and dropping to a ladder which then collapsed.
Moravec, James
Seventh grade boy age 13 in room 208 (fatality)
Mordarski, Irene
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208
Irene survived by jumping (falling) from a window, but suffered burns to her arms, face and left leg. She also sustained a fractured left hip in the fall. She was hospitalized longer than any other survivor of the fire. She was discharged in June 1959 but had to undergo repeated operations for years afterwards, including several complete hip replacements. On August 19, 1967, Irene married Gerry Andreoli, a survivor of room 209. Sister of Monica Mordarski.
Mordarski, Monica
Girl age 7
Sister of Irene Mordarski.
Mordini, Luciana
Seventh grade girl age 11 in room 208
Luciana fell or was pushed from a window of room 208, and was later taken to the hospital by a good samaritan. She suffered burns to her right arm and back, and was released from the hospital on Christmas Eve.
Moretti, Mary Ellen
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208 (fatality)
Morrissey, Rebecca
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room B
Rebecca escaped from her south basement classroom without injury.
Mugnani, Joseph
Fourth grade boy
Mueller, William
Fireman
Muilli, Vito
Fourth grade boy age 13 in room 210
Vito, recently arrived from Italy and speaking little English, was moved down to fourth grade while he mastered English. On the day of the fire, he was able to escape from the west window of room 210, landing on a too-short ladder placed below the window. He slid down the ladder and crashed into the ground, injuring his leg (see Photo Gallery).
Minutillo, Carmen Daniel
Third grade boy age 8
Cousin of Frank Piscopo and Francis Guzaldo.
Mulcahy, Jack
Chicago Tribune Photographer
Jack was the first Tribune photographer to arrive on scene.
Murphy, Jewel
Fireman
Jewel was a member of truck 36 (according to the best recollection of his nephew, William Murphy, son of Thomas Murphy). Jewel is now deceased. Brother of Thomas Murphy.
Murphy, Thomas J.
Fireman
Thomas was a member of truck 46 which responded to the OLA fire. This fire profoundly saddened Thomas and left him with unshakable and horrible life-long memories. He was later promoted to Lieutenant Inspector as a direct result of this tragedy. Later, he also served on Engine 67 (from same firehouse as Truck 46 at Fulton and Kilpatrick, now closed). Thomas is now deceased. Brother of Jewel Murphy.
Murray, Joe
Fireman
“There was a lot of chaos and they [the students] were just fighting to get out the windows. Then it flashed over and everybody was gone.” Joe passed away on March 24, 2016.
Muscarella, Fred
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 202
Muscarello, Tony
Fireman
Today, Tony is retired from the fire department and is a videographer. He video taped the 45th Anniversary Mass on December 1, 2003, and the first Friends of OLA Dinner/Dance on January 10, 2004.
Muscolino, Donald
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 202
Cousin of David, Linda and Lana Esposito.
Myszokowski, Stanley
Fireman

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- N -

Nardi, Dominic
Fifth grade boy
Neagle, Carol
Eighth grade girl in room 211
Carol was snatched from a window in room 211 by a fireman just seconds before the room exploded in flames. Sister of Mike Neagle, cousin of Jim Neagle.
Neagle, James
Fifth grade boy in room 105
Cousin of Carol and Mike Neagle.
Neagle, Michael
Seventh grade boy in room 208
Mike escaped by dropping from a window to a small stairway roof below. Brother of Carol Neagle, cousin of Jim Neagle.
Nedza, James
Fourth grade boy age 10 in room 109
Neuber, Charles
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Neville, James
Fireman
Neville was a member of Engine Company 43. According to his son, “he loved his job--he was fearless.” The department used to hold thrill shows that showcased firefighting skills, including a leap by Neville into a net from a five-story structure.

His son also said that after the OLA fire, “he felt that the nuns and the school weren't adequately prepared with knowledge of how to get out of a burning building. It caused him to become an ardent crusader for more effective school fire safety.” He lectured at schools about effective fire safety and drills, and to fire departments across the nation about training.

Later, after five years of college chemistry and engineering classes, he instituted training procedures for chemical and high-rise fires. He pushed for higher levels of education for firefighters. He was commander of the bomb and arson squad when the team got its first call - a bomb on the 30th floor of the civic center.

Neville retired in 1974 as a first deputy chief fire marshal. He passed away at age 89 on July 29, 2001.

Nieri, Lorraine
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208 (fatality)
Neri, Michael
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 207
Nuccio, Mary Jane
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 105
Mary Jane escaped without injury.
Nyznyk, Michael (Nicholas)
Fifth grade boy
Michael's real name was Nicholas, but when his family imigrated from Ukraine, his parent's didn't know the correct spelling in English, so he adopted the name Michael. Nicholas passed away on February 7, 1992.

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O'Boyle, Edward
Fourth grade boy
O'Brien, Maureen
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212
O'Brien, Patricia
Fourth grade girl
O'Brien, Robert
Fireman
O'Brien was First Deputy Chief in charge of the Fire Prevention Bureau of the Chicago Fire Department. He was killed in the line of duty in 1962 when he and another chief entered a burning building to ensure that all firefighters were safely out, and the roof suddenly collapsed before they could escape.
O'Brien, William
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 209
William escaped by jumping from a window to a small porch cover below.
O'Connor, Timothy J.
Police Commissioner
O'Connor inspected the aftermath of the fire along with Mayor Daley and other city officials.
O'Connor, George
Eighth grade boy in room 209
George jumped from a window to the porch cover in the courtyard and ran home.
O'Donnell, Rosemary
Girl
O'Donnell, Thomas
Fireman
O'Donnell was a member of Engine Company 24.
Oenes, Donald
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212
Donald was badly burned but survived.
Ognibene, Carol
Seventh grade girl
The cousin of Father Joe.
Ognibene, Rev. Joseph
One of four associate pastors living in the rectory at the time of the fire
Father Ognibene, together with parent Sam Tortorice helped children escape from the rear window of room 209 and into a window in the annex. From there they could flee down a steel internal stairway and out the Iowa Street side of the school. “I was hurrying to the school in my car. I saw smoke coming from the upper windows and drove my car the wrong way up a one-way street. I parked the car and ran into the building. Some children were leaving the building in an orderly fire-drill manner. Others were running about, screaming. Then everything was ablaze. I tried ... I wanted to ... it was the will of God.” Father Joe, as he was affectionately known, was a 32-year-old native Chicagoan who came to Our Lady of the Angels in 1952, and was well liked by the children of the school. OLA was his first assignment after ordination.
Olandese, Carl
Sixth grade boy
Brother of Joann Olandese, cousin of James Marcello.
Olandese, Joann
Girl
Sister of Carl Olandese, cousin of James Marcello.
Olechowski, Janet
Eighth grade girl age 12 in room 211 (fatality)
Olen, Patricia
Fifth grade girl
O'Neill, James J.
Fourth grade boy age 9
From his daughter Dawn: “James was a survivor of the fire. He did not talk about it much. It was obvious that it was still etched in his memory. He told me that there was a website and I wish I would have looked at it sooner so that I could question him more about the details. He passed away on June 11, 2004. He is survived by his wife, two children, two step-children, and six grand-children. He lived a full and happy life and was loved by many. He will be missed.”
O'Neill, Sister Mary Helaine
Eighth grade teacher in room 211
Sister Helaine O'Neill was severely burned but survived. She was the only teacher to survive a classroom in which many students perished. She was brought down a ladder from room 211 by firemen, critically burned. She was born in Chicago on September 16, 1902 and entered the BVM Community on February 2, 1922. She passed away on September 27, 1975.
O'Shea, Daniel
Seventh grade boy age 12
Daniel was one of at least four boys who were assigned to carry waste papers from their classrooms to be dumped in a container in the boiler room for later incineration by the janitor. He reported nothing out of the ordinary while completing this duty, and returned to his classroom without noticing fire or smoke anywhere.
Orlando, Anita
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210
Anita stayed home the day of the fire with a low grade fever.
Orlando, Louis
Fourth grade boy
Osterkorn, John L.
Fireman
John passed away on November 27, 1999.
Oswald, John
Chicago Tribune Reporter
John was a north suburban reporter who was dispatched to the scene.
Ouimet, Richard
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212
Richard escaped but suffered smoke inhalation, a collapsed lung and burns.

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- P -

Pacini, Rosemarie
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 206
Rosemarie escaped without injury. She passed away in January 2004 after losing a battle with cancer. Sister of Yvonne Pacini.
Pacini, Yvonne
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Sister of Rosemarie Pacini.
Padula, Carol
Sixth grade girl age 11
Sister of Michael Padula.
Padula, Michael
Third grade boy age 8 in room 101
Brother of Carol Padula.
Page, Theresa
Seventh grade girl in room 202
Pales, Robert
Fourth grade boy in room B
Palmisano, Camile
Fourth grade girl
Palmisano, Diane
Seventh grade girl in room 208
Diane escaped but suffered some burns.
Palumbo, Mike
Fireman
Mike was a member of Engine Company 26, one of the companies called on the box alarm at 2:44 pm.
Palumbo, Rita
Girl
Panno, Frances
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212
Frances was rescued from a window by a fireman. She was treated at Franklin Blvd Hospital for superficial burns and smoke inhalation.
Panno, Joan
Parent
Mrs. Panno arrived at the school to pick up her daughter, Frances, and found smoke and flames belching from the building. Mother of Frances Panno.
Paolella, Patricia
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 207
Paolella, Rose
Parent
Rose, who lived across the street from the school, gave first aid and shelter to many fire victims. Mother of Patricia Paolella.
Pape, Frank
Policeman
Pape was one of several officers who questioned children after the fire.
Parenti, Catherine
Fourth grade girl
Parolin, Livio
Second grade boy age 8 in room 103
Pasquesi, James J.
Boy age 11
Brother of Louis Pasquesi.
Pasquesi, Louis
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room B
Brother of James Pasquesi.
Patano, Donald
Eighth grade boy in room 209
Patrasso, Antoinette
Fifth grade girl age 11 in room 212 (fatality)
Sister of Thomas Patrasso.
Patrasso, Thomas
Second grade boy age 7 in room 103
Thomas escaped without injury. Brother of Antoinette Patrasso.
Patzelt, Rose
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 209
Pawlik, Eileen
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
Pawelek, Marianne
Fifth grade girl in room 212
Marianne had surgury on her chin and spent three months in the hosptial recovering from a fractured hip she suffered as a result of falling or being pushed from her second-floor classroom window.
Pedersen, Irene Burke
Nurse
Pellettiere, JoAnn
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208
JoAnn escaped without injury. Just minutes before the fire, JoAnn was asked to assist with a birthday party in a first grade classroom on the first floor. When the fire alarm sounded, she helped the first graders exit the building safely. Sister of John Pellettiere.
Pellettiere, John
Third grade boy age 8 in room 101
John and his classmates from room 101 were able to exit safely through the front door. He later married Janice Pomilia, a survivor of room 102. John and Janice live in Long Grove, Illinois. Brother of JoAnn Pellettiere.
Peneschi, Joyce
Fourth grade girl age 10 in room 108
Sister of Thomas Peneschi.
Peneschi, Thomas
Third grade boy age 9 in room 109
Brother of Joyce Peneschi.
Penzin, Harry
Policeman
Penzin arrived shortly before 3 pm and, seeing all the injured children, immediately called for all available police squadrols and ambulances in the city. Later, he was one of several police officers who questioned children after the fire.
Peretti, Joseph Jr.
Boy
Perry, Barbara
Seventh grade girl
Sister of Carolyn and Dorothy Perry.
Perry, Carolyn Marie
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Sister of Barbara and Dorothy Perry.
Perry, Dorothy
Second grade girl
Sister of Barbara and Carolyn Perry.
Perry, Kathleen
Fourth grade girl age 9
Perry, Mary Ann
Fourth grade girl
Perryman, Patricia
Eighth grade girl age 14 in room 209
Patricia received minor injuries after falling down a ladder and being caught by a fireman.
Peruzzo, Albert
Second grade boy age 6
Brother of Maria Peruzzo.
Peruzzo, Maria
Kindergarten girl age 5
Sister of Albert Peruzzo.
Pesoli, Elaine
Fourth grade girl age 10 in room 210 (fatality)
Petrelli, Joanne
Second grade girl
Sister of Mary Jo Petrelli.
Petrelli, Mary Jo
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 206
Sister of Joanne Petrelli.
Petruzzi, Joseph
Second grade boy age 7
Cousin of Betti Marino.
Pettenon, Joanne
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 201
Joanne escaped without injury. Sister of John and Mary Ellen Pettenon, and cousin of George and Janice Pomilia.
Pettenon, John
Third grade boy
John escaped without injury. Brother of of Joanne and Mary Ellen Pettenon, and cousin of George and Janice Pomilia.
Pettenon, Mary Ellen
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Sister of Joanne and John Pettenon, and cousin of George and Janice Pomilia.
Picardi, Charles
First grade boy in Joseph Hall
Pierri, Vito M.
Fourth grade boy age 10 in room 210
Pierce, Charles
Fireman
Pierce had a lead role in the fire department's investigation of the school fire. He later became a chief with the department, Deputy Commissioner and briefly, Acting Commissioner. He was also a lead negotiator in the 1980 Chicago Fire Fighters Union strike. Pierce passed away at age 81 on March 11, 2000.
Pikinski, Edward
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 208 (fatality)
Pilas, Carol
Eighth grade girl in room 209
Cousin of Nancy Pilas, niece of Tony Pilas.
Pilas, Nancy
Eighth grade girl age 12 in room 211 (fatality)
Nancy's father, Tony, was superintendent of field inspectors for the Chicago Fire Prevention Bureau. Cousin of Carol Pilas.
Pilas, Anthony R.
Fireman
Pilas was superintendent of field inspectors for the Chicago Fire Prevention Bureau. A native Chicagoan who attended public schools and graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Pilas began working for the Fire Department in 1937. In 1944, he was promoted to lieutenant, the youngest of that rank in the department at the time. When he became a captain in 1958, he joined the Fire Prevention Bureau, the department's code enforcement arm. Pilas became a Battalion Chief 1967, and in 1970 he became a Division Marshal. He also was first deputy of the bureau. He retired at the mandatory age of 63 and became a department deputy director in a civilian capacity until 1980. Pilas also was a precinct captain in the 31st Ward regular Democratic organization, with which he was affiliated for 30 years. Pilas' only daughter, Nancy, died at age 12 in the OLA fire. Tony passed away on December 18, 1987. Father of Nancy Pilas, uncle of Carol Pilas.
Pils, Anthony
Fireman
Pils was a CFD Division Marshall, and one of the first to enter the school via the north-side second floor windows.
Piro, Francine
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 201
Francine escaped without injury.
Pisani, Rosemary
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 209
Rosemary was rescued by parent Sam Tortorice and Father Ognibene through the rear window of room 209.
Piscopo, Frank
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Brother of Michael Piscopo and cousin of Mike Guzaldo.
Piscopo, Michael
First grade boy
Brother of Frank Piscopo and cousin of Mike Guzaldo.
Plovanich, Daniel
First grade boy age 6 in room 107
Dan escaped without injury. Brother of Matt and Michael Plovanich.
Plovanich, Matt
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 207
Like others in Room 207, Matt nearly suffocated before being rescued by Fr. Hund and school janitor James Raymond. Matt went on to become a policeman. Brother of Dan and Michael Plovanich.
Plovanich, Michael
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 201
Michael escaped without injury. Brother of Matt and Daniel Plovanich.
Plovanich, Rudy
Policeman
Plovanich was off-duty and rushed to the school to find his children. He ended up helping children escape from the south wing. Father of Daniel, Matt and Michael Plovanich.
Poggi, William
Sixth grade boy
Poliski, Stephan
Fireman
Pollack, Anita Mary Katherine
Fifth grade girl age 11 in room 212
Pomilia, George
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212
George suffered a broken femur bone jumping from his second floor classroom window. He spent 6 weeks in traction in the hospital and came home in a body cast, where he spent another couple of months in bed in a cast. Brother of Janice Pomilia and cousin of Joanne, John and Mary Ellen Pettenon.
Pomilia, Janice
Second grade girl age 7 in room 102
Janice escaped without injury. She later married John Pellettiere, a survivor of room 101. Sister of George Pomilia and cousin of Joanne, John and Mary Ellen Pettenon.
Porn, Robert
Fireman
Robert was transported to Walther Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released after injuring his left eye while fighting the OLA fire.
Powell, John
Second grade boy age 7
Brother of Linda Powell
Powell, Linda
Fifth grade girl age 11 in room 206
Sister of John Powell
Power, Thomas
Fireman
Power was a longtime firefighter on Chicago's West Side. His work included battling the fire at Our Lady of the Angels and the fires during the riots of 1968.

His longtime friend and deputy state fire marshal, Jack Ahern, said Power was “an excellent firefighter, always the first one there, the hardest worker and the easiest guy to get along with in the firehouse. He was a fireman's fireman. He'd get to a fire and he wouldn't get rattled or anything. He'd know exactly what to do and how to do it. Thomas grew up wanting to be a firefighter and for many years was a member of Squad 7 on the West Side, the busiest fire squad in the city. The one thing outstanding about him was he was a super, super family man. He never swore. He never drank. He was a great example.” Power was known to fellow firefighters as “Happy.”

During the OLA fire, Power helped rescue victims from their classrooms. According to his daughter, Eileen Bowery, it was the worst fire he ever fought because he was a young father himself at the time.

He was a hard-working man who held a day job at Sears as he rose through the ranks of the Chicago Fire Department. He was heavily devoted to both firefighting and to his family. When his children were young, he loved spending time with them and years later, he was also very devoted to his grandchildren - he baby-sat and rarely missed a game, spelling bee or dramatic performance.

In 1989, after retiring from firefighting, Mr. Power became a fire prevention inspector with the state fire marshal's office. He inspected state-licensed day-care centers, nursing homes and hospitals in Chicago and the suburbs and worked with local fire departments to make the facilities safe.

He finally left firefighting at the rank of battalion chief when, at age 66, he fell and injured his shoulder after entering a burning building. “It never went through his head that he was a chief. He was just a regular guy,” said his daughter. “He never believed he should ask somebody to do something he wouldn't do.”

He passed away on April 26, 2000, from complications following surgery.

Pratola, Benjeman
Fourth grade boy
Prete, Joseph
Eighth grade boy age 12
Brother of Michael Prete and cousin of August and Joseph Scolaro.
Prete, Michael
Kindergarten boy age 6 in Mary Hall
Brother of Joseph Prete and cousin of August and Joseph Scolaro.
Prezzia, Grace
Girl
Priore, Frank T.
Second grade boy age six
Profita, James Joseph
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Pyciarello, Daniel
Neighborhood Father
Daniel caught children as they leaped from the second floor windows until he was unable to move due to exhaustion and pain.
Pryzbo, Thomas
Boy
Pucionello, Daniel
Policeman
Pucionello, a 33-year-old policeman, was admitted to St. Anne's Hospital with unknown injuries.
Pusateri, Karen Lolita
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 207

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- Q -

Quinlan, Jack
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 203
Brother of William Quinlan.
Quinlan, William
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room B
Brother of Jack Quinlan.
Quinn, Robert J.
Chicago Fire Commissioner
Quinn was Commissioner from 1957 until his retirement in 1978. He is credited with the idea of the snorkel, a water deliver system mounted on an elevated platform similar to that used by tree trimmers.

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- R -

Racanelli, Vito
Fifth grade boy
Radogna, Nick
Boy
Ragona, James
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Rainiero, Michael
Doctor at Franklin Hospital
Rainiero's daughter, Nina, was a student in Room 201.
Rainiero, Nina
Seventh grade girl in room 201
Nina's father was a doctor at Franklin Hospital who treated some of the injured OLA students. Nina was not injured.
Ramelli, Michael
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 205
Ramlow, Roger Alan
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
Ramsey, George L.
Chicago Building Commissioner
Raymond, James
OLA Parish Janitor
Janitor James Raymond, a 13 year employee of the parish, was returning to the school from another parish property when he noticed smoke at the rear of the school. When he ran to investigate he saw an ominous red glow coming from a basement-level frosted window. He rushed into the basement and through the boiler room to discover that a fire was blazing in the northeast stairwell. He ran to the rectory next door and alerted housekeeper Nora Maloney to call the fire department because the school was on fire.

He then ran back into the school and made his way to the second floor where he ran into priest Charles Hund, who had discovered that the children and nun in room 207 were trapped behind a locked classroom door. Raymond unlocked the door, and together with Father Hund, quickly pulled the half conscious children and teacher from the increasingly hot and toxic classroom to the school's lone second-floor fire escape. Just seconds after the last child exited the room, it flashed over. All 40 would have perished but for the heroic efforts of Raymond and Hund.

After the fire, Raymond came under suspicion during his Coroner's Jury testimony, in part because he was unable to account for a ten minute gap between the time he believed he discovered the fire and the time the housekeeper called the fire department. He was also a convenient scape goat for an investigation that was floundering in its efforts to find the cause of the fire. Church and city officials did nothing to dispell the suspicion and rumors that descended upon Mr. Raymond because that helped deflect attention away from their culpability in allowing a school to be such a fire trap.

Among the rumors that circulated after the Coronor's Jury was that sloppy housekeeping in the school on the part of Raymond led to the fire. Students and staff knew this was ridiculous because Raymond kept the school very clean and uncluttered.

The most absurd rumor of all held that perhaps Raymond set the fire himself. There wasn't the slightest bit of evidence to support this, nor any suggestion that he might be capable of such a heinous act. But what made it particularly outrageous was that four of Raymond's six children were in classrooms in the main school building when the fire started.

Government officials, recognizing there was no case against Raymond, never leveled an accusation against him, but they did nothing to discourage the ugly rumors against him. When the new school opened, church officials hired a new janitor for the school, leaving Raymond with the remaining parish properties. The cruel and unfounded rumors and suspicion eventually took its toll, leaving Raymond a broken man, eventually leading him to alcohol and an early grave.

Father of Mary Kay, Robert, Thomas, John and Marty Raymond.

Raymond, John
Fifth grade boy age 11 in room 212
John survived by jumping from a window. He spent a week in the hospital with a back injury and badly bruised hip from the fall. John was quoted while in Franklin Boulevard Hospital as saying “I want to get outside in the fresh air. It's all hospital-smelly and everything here.”. Son of James Raymond, brother of Mary Kay, Robert, Thomas and Marty Raymond.
Raymond, Marty
Kindergarten boy in Mary Hall
Son of James Raymond, brother of Mary Kay, Robert, Thomas and John Raymond
Raymond, Mary Kay
Fourth grade girl in room 'B'
Daughter of James Raymond, sister of Robert, Thomas, John and Marty Raymond.
Raymond, Robert
Eighth grade boy age 14 in room 211
Bob was dismissed from room 211 to help load donated clothing onto a truck as part of a parish clothing drive when the fire broke out. Son of James Raymond, brother of Mary Kay, Thomas, John and Marty Raymond.
Raymond, Thomas
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 201
Tommy was trapped for about 20 minutes in his south wing second floor classroom. Newspapers carried the following story, reported to be Tommy's account:

"I stood there on the window sill and all I could think of was how I would look dead. Most of my other classmates had already got out and I was the last one, and when I walked into the hall the smoke was so thick I ran back into the room. Then I went to the window and took some books and threw them out through the glass to break the window. It's funny, but I remember which books I threw out. I threw out my reader and some test books.

"After the window broke I stood up on the sill and began to think about jumping out from the second floor. That's when I saw the firemen down below. They shouted at me not to jump, that they'd come up and get me, so I got back off the sill.

"Now that I think back how it started, I remember it was a singing lesson we were having. We didn't know anything about the fire until all of a sudden we heard a lot of screams. We couldn't make out what the screams were for a moment. Then we knew it was the eighth graders yelling, "Fire, fire, fire."

"We started going out just like we did in fire drills. You know we had two or three fire drills already this winter because this was an old school and somebody always figured it was going to burn down someday.

"By the time I got out into the hall I couldn't breathe, the smoke was so thick, so I ran into the back room. For a while I was all by myself and then some girls came running into the room. They were from another room. I yelled at them to lie down on the floor, because that's what I remember from fire drills to do when there's a lot of smoke. The girls said kids from other rooms were hanging on one another's belts to form a line to get to the stairs because it was dark as night on the second floor.

"Then I saw a man coming through the door and we could see flames on the other side of the building. The man grabbed a few girls and led them back out with him. I stayed by the window, though, and I was scared. All I could think of was how I would look dead. Then the fireman came up and led me down the ladder." Son of James Raymond, brother of Mary Kay, Robert, John and Marty Raymond.

Reboletti, Jennifer
Eighth grade girl age 12 in room 211
Jennifer was pulled from her classroom window by fireman Charles Kamin. “...he had me put my arms around his neck so he could pull me out of the crowded window and set me on the ladder behind him.”
Reeb, Edward
Sixth grade boy age 11
Brother of Marilyn Reeb.
Reeb, Marilyn
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Sister of Edward Reeb.
Reilly, Anthony
Fireman
Remi, Sister Mary
Afternoon Kindergarten teacher in Mary Hall
Sr. Remi passed away on February 21, 2008.
Renieris, JoAnn
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 204
JoAnn was one of the students shoved down the stairs by Sr. Andrienne and, as a result, escaped with only minor bumps and bruises.
Riani, Florence
Fourth grade girl
Rice, John
Fireman
John was with Engine Company 95, one of the three engine companies responding to the box alarm placed at 2:44 pm.
Richerson, Anna Marie
Nurse at St. Anne's Hospital
Anna Marie was a 31-year-old Registered Nurse working at St. Anne's hospital on December 1, 1958. She helped provide emergency treatment and care for many of the injured children brought to the hospital in the wake of the fire. She never forgot that day and the children whose lives were cut short. Anna Marie passed away in January 27, 2007.
Riggio, Carlo
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 205
Rippa, James
Fourth grade boy in room 210
James jumped, fell or was blown out of a window.
Rivan, Anna
Fourth grade girl age 9
Rivan, Sebastian
Fifth grade boy age 11 in room 212
Sebastian opened the rear door of room 212 to try to escape, but the smoke was too hot and dense. He then helped other kids escape through a window. He eventually escaped himself and was hospitalized for smoke inhalation.
Rizzo, Donna
Second grade girl age 7
Sister of Mark Rizzo.
Rizzo, Mark
Third grade boy age 8 in room 101
Brother of Donna Rizzo.
Robinson, Charles
Fireman
Robinson was a member of Engine Company 85, the first Company to arrive at the fire. He worked with Ralph Clark, Henry Holder and others in rescuing children from room 212. He passed away in 1972.
Rocco, Mary Linda
Girl age 10
Mary Linda was hospitalized at Walter Memorial with injuries.
Roche, Tom
Fireman
Rocks, Henriette
Nurse at St. Anne's Hospital
She was known as Sister Katherine.
Rocosz, Rick
Fifth grade boy
Rodriguez, Robert
Fifth grade boy
Rolewicz, Ronald
Fourth grade boy
Roman, Sharon
Kindergarten girl age 5 in Mary Hall
Romanczak, Walter
Fireman
Romanczak was a member of Hook and Ladder Company 35. Together with Willard Martens he manned a life net in the courtyard below room 211 and attempted to catch jumping children. When the children saw the net, they began jumping many at a time, overwhelming the firemen, who soon had to abandon the life net and try to catch or break the fall of the youngsters cascading down upon them.
Rooney, Susan
Kindergarten girl age 5 in Mary Hall
Rose, Connie
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 207
"Initially, we all heard screaming and thought it might have been a Christmas party in one of the rooms. I sat at the front of the class immediately in front of the door. I saw thick smoke seep into the room around the glass transom. At exactly that moment, one of the boys called out to Sr. Geraldita that he saw smoke. Sister opened the door to the hallway and immediately closed it. In a very short time the smoke was so thick it broke the glass transom. The room was filling quickly with black, thick smoke. I understand the phrase, 'I couldn't see my hand in front of my face.'

Sr. Geraldita had us move to the back of the room where I helped her to distribute clean cloths to put over our faces. She then had some of the boys stand on the desks to try to break the skylight hoping to clear the room of smoke. Not being successful, we were instructed to lie on the floor. I was quite sure I was going to die and prayed to our Blessed Mother to intervene for the sake of my parents. I was the second from the last to exit the classroom by the fire escape. I think Sr. Geraldita was behind me. As I stepped onto the fire escape, huge flames burst through the windows. I remember a fireman with an axe standing next to the back door from which we exited. I was quite sure it was the fireman who saved us." -Connie Rose

Ross, Louis
Neighbor
Louis was finishing up a tuckpointing job in the area when he heard the news that the school was on fire. He drove his truck to the school to see if the ladders he had on top of his truck were needed. Those ladders were reportedly the first ones on the scene able to reach the second floor. His help and ladders saved many of the children. Says his niece, Joyce Peneschi: "I forgot what a hero my uncle was." Louis passed away in 1970. Uncle of Joyce and Thomas Peneschi.
Rossi, Miss Joan
Sixth grade teacher in room 203
Rossili, Harry
Bystander
Harry was a student at a nearby public school who witnessed many horrific scenes as he watched the tragedy unfold. He later became a Salvation Army volunteer because of the work he saw them do with OLA victims.
Rozkuszka, Wanda
Fourth grade girl
Rufina, Sister Mary
Third/Fourth grade teacher in room 108 (due to an extended illness, she was replaced by Mrs. Kizior for part of the 1958-59 school year)
Ruszczyk, Emily
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208
Emily climbed onto a window ledge before firemen arrived and, with a firm push from behind by Sister Mary St. Canice, sailed out the window. She landed on a roof covering a basement entrance. She received minor burn injuries and serious contusions, but no broken bones.
Ryan, James William
Second grade boy age 8

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Sacco, Anthony
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211
Anthony suffered burns to his arm. He was treated and released from the hospital the same day. Brother of Richard Sacco.
Sacco, Richard
Eighth grade boy age 16 in room 209
Richard escaped without injury. Brother of Anthony Sacco.
Saccomonto, Carol
First grade girl age 7
Sister of Mark Saccomonto.
Saccomonto, Mark
Second grade boy age 8
Brother of Carol Saccomonto.
Salemi, Andrew
Sixth grade boy age 12 in room 205
Brother of Maria Salemi, Uncle of Cheryl Curtis.
Salemi, Maria
Girl
Sister of Andrew Salemi, Aunt of Cheryl Curtis.
Saletta, James
Fourth grade boy age 9
Jim was in a first-floor classroom that was able to evacuate safely (unlike those on the second floor), but witnessed horrifying scenes of trapped children screaming for help at second floor windows, jumping and falling to the ground. Today, Jim is Fire Chief of the Huntley, Illinois Fire Protection District.
Sandies, Mary
Girl
Sansone, James
Seventh grade boy age 12
Sansone, Joe
Policeman
Sansone assisted at the fire scene and later helped deal with grieving parents at the morgue.
Sansone, Mary
Parent
Sansone was one of the hundreds of panicked parents who watched the fire from the street, watching for her son, James. Mother of James Sansone.
Sansonetti, Kathy
Seventh grade girl in room 201
Cousin of Rosalie Sansonetti, sister of Peggy Sansonetti.
Sansonetti, Margaret
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Cousin of Rosalie Sansonetti, sister of Kathy Sansonetti..
Sansonetti, Rosalie
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 206
Cousin of Kathy and Peggy Sansonetti.
Santangelo, Diane Marie
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Diane was identified only through dental records.
Saraniec, Loralei
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room B
Sarantakos, James
First grade boy age 6 in Joseph Hall
Sarno, Joanne
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Joanne's brother William also died at Our Lady of the Angels on December 1, 1958. The Sarnos were one of two families that lost two children. Sister of Ronald and Billy Sarno, cousin of Kathy and MaryAlice Galante.
Sarno, Ronald
Fourth grade boy age 10 in room 210
Brother of Joanne and William, both of whom died. Ronny jumped from a window in room 210, and other than a small burn, was uninjured. Just before he jumped, he yelled at Joanne to follow him out the window, but for whatever reason, she did not. Brother of Joanne and Billy Sarno, cousin of Kathy and MaryAlice Galante.
Sarno, William
Eighth grade boy age 11 in room 211 (fatality)
William's sister Joanne also died at Our Lady of the Angels on December 1, 1958. The Sarnos were one of two families that lost two children. Brother of Ronald and Joanne Sarno, cousin of Kathy and MaryAlice Galante.
Saska, Larry
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 205
Larry passed away in May 2007. Brother of Rosemarie Saska.
Saska, Rosemarie
Third grade girl age 8 in room 108
Sister of Larry Saska.
Scardina, Carmen
Eighth grade boy
Brother of Lucille Scardina.
Scardina, Lucille
Second grade girl
Sister of Carmen Scardina.
Scarmuzzo, Carol
Fourth grade girl
Scarmuzzo, Craig
Third grade boy
Scheidt, Richard
Fireman
Newspaper photographer Steve Lasker snapped a photograph of fireman Richard Scheidt, a member of Rescue Squad 1, as he stepped from the school carrying 10-year-old John Jajkowski. Scheidt, a member of Squad 1, carried the bodies of nineteen children from the school on the evening of December 1, 1958. John Jajkowski was the first.

Scheidt was forever haunted by the memory of the discovery of dozens of dead children piled underneath the windows in the second floor classrooms. It was the single worst thing he experienced in his career as a firefighter.

Scheidt retired from the fire department as a captain in 1986. He passed away at age 81 on April 6, 2009.

Schratzmeier, Linda
Kindergarten girl age 5 in Mary Hall
Sister of Thomas Schratzmeier.
Schratzmeier, Thomas
Fifth grade boy age 11 in room 205
Today, Thomas is a police officer with the Dupage County sheriffs Office. Brother of Linda Schratzmeier.
Schuller, George J.
Chicago Fire Department arson investigator
Schuller took photographs of the aftermath for the fire department's investigation. He passed away on December 23, 1993.
Schutt, Kurt
Fourth grade boy age 8 in room 210 (fatality)
Kurt died of his injuries on December 8, 1958
Schwarz, Steven
Second grade boy age 7 in room 104
Scimone, John
Eighth grade boy age 13
John was not at school on the day of the fire. Cousin of Carol Gazzola.
Scolaro, August
Seventh grade boy age 11
Augie escaped without injury. Brother of Joseph Scolaro, cousin of Joseph and Michael Prete.
Scolaro, Joseph
Third grade boy age 7 in room 101
Joe escaped without injury. Brother of August Scolaro, cousin of Joseph and Michael Prete.
Segraves, James
Staff physician at St. Anne's Hospital
Dr. Segraves designed the disaster plan for St. Anne's Hospital, which was used for the first time following the fire. He passed away in 1967 while on vacation in Ireland.
Secco, Antoinette
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Senorski, Andrew
Third grade boy age 9 in room A
Andrew escaped without injury. Brother of Lorraine, James and Mary Senorski.
Senorski, James
Kindergarten boy age 5 in Mary Hall
Brother of Lorraine, Andrew and Mary Senorski.
Senorski, Lorraine
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 204
Lorraine escaped without injury. Sister of Andrew, Mary Lynn and James Senorski.
Senorski, Mary
Second grade girl age 7 in room 102
Mary escaped without injury. Sister of Lorraine, Andrew and James Senorski.
Serafine, Arlene
Girl
Arlene was treated for her injuries at St. Anne's Hospital.
Sexton, William
Policeman
Sexton was treated for his injuries at St. Anne's Hospital.
Shanahan, Eda
Lay teacher
Mrs. Shanahan was a teacher in one of the second floor classrooms in the south wing. All of her students escaped without injury.
Shaw, Frank
Fifth grade boy age 10
Brother of Margie and Marianne Shaw.
Shaw, Margie
Fourth grade girl age 9
Sister of Frank and Marianne Shaw.
Shaw, Marianne
Sixth grade girl
Sister of Frank and Margie Shaw.
Shillcutt, Donna
Second grade girl
Donna escaped without injury. Sister of Sally Shillcutt.
Shillcutt, Sally
Sixth grade girl age 11 in room 207
Sally was not at school at the time of the fire because she had left for a dental appointment in the afternoon. Sister of Donna Shillcutt.
Shirley, Miss
Third grade teacher in room 109
Miss Shirley later married and became Mrs. Wilkins.
Sickels, James
Fourth grade boy age 10 in room 210 (fatality)
Brother of Larry Sickels.
Sickels, Larry
First grade boy age 6 in room 107
Brother of James Sickels.
Silvio, Paul
Fourth grade boy age 10 in room 210 (fatality)
Siragusa, Mariann
Third grade girl age 8
Cousin of Louis Tatone.
Skinder, Dennis
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room B
Cousin of Donald, Diane and Raymond Traynor.
Smaldone, MaryAnn
First grade girl age 7
Both MaryAnn and her sister, Susan, were sick on the day of the fire, but unlike Mary, Susan was able to convince her mother to let her to attend school anyway. Sister of Susan Smaldone, cousin of Maria Glasgow.
Smaldone, Susan
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Susan was sick on the day of the fire, but talked her mother into allowing her to attend school anyway.

That afternoon, as the heat and flames invading her classroom became unsurvivable, Susan was pushed from a window by another girl who then clung to her legs as they fell, and crashed down on top of her. Susan was picked up by a fireman and rushed to the hospital.

She was burned over 89% of her body and doctors told her parents that she would probably not live through the night. She did live through that night, and twenty more. Every doctor who checked her could not believe that she was still alive. The only areas of her body that had not been burned were the bottoms of her feet and across her chest.

From her sister, Mary: “The doctors could not tell my parents everything that was wrong because they were unable to give her a complete check up due to the burns. They believed that her skull and been broken from the fall but they could not be sure. They were not sure if there was brain damage or not.”

Even through her mind was strong her body was not. Tragically, she passed away on December 22, 1958, the cause of death listed as heart failure. Had she lived, she probably would have never walked again, and many of her fingers would have been amputated.

Sister of Mary Smaldone and cousin of Maria Glasgow.

Smid, Nancy
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Somedics, Mary
Girl age 13
Mary escaped by jumping from a window, but fractured her pelvis in the fall. She also suffered burns to her hand and leg and was admitted to St. Anne's Hospital.
Sonzero, Charles
Seventh grade boy in room 201
Sorce, Larry
Eighth grade boy in room 211
Larry was rescued through a window 211 by fireman Charles Kamin standing atop a ladder.
Sparacello, Marc
Boy
Spatafore, Joseph
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 210
Joseph sustained burns over much of his body, and suffered head injuries and a shattered shoulder while jumping from room 210. He passed away on October 26, 2009 after having been diagnosed with cancer two months earlier.
Spennacchio, Mauro
Boy
Brother of Patricia Spennacchio.
Spennacchio, Patricia
Girl age 7
Sister of Mauro Spennacchio.
Sprovieri, Paul J.
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 206
Spurny, Frank
Third grade boy in room 101
St. Denise, Sister Mary
Morning Kindergarten teacher in Mary Hall
St. Florence, Sister Mary
School Superior (Principal) but substituting for Sister Mary Edgar's third grade class in room 101
St. Rita, Sister Mary
Seventh grade teacher in room 202
St. Xavier, Sister Mary
Fourth grade teacher in room B
Stabile, Linda
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Stachura, John
Kindergarten boy age 5 in Mary Hall
John was in a separate building and was unhurt. Brother of Mark Stachura, son of Max Stachura.
Stachura, Mark
Fourth grade boy age 9 in room 210 (fatality)
Mark perished as his father looked on from the alley north of the school, unable to rescue his son. Brother of John Stachura, son of Max Stachura.
Stachura, Max
Father of Mark and John
Max was at home near the school when he smelled smoke and quickly realized it was coming from the school. He ran to the school where he helped Mario Camerini, the school's assistant janitor, place a ladder at one of the second floor windows on the north side of the school. He then spotted his son, Mark, at one of the windows of room 210 and, fearing that Mark would be injured if he jumped, ran home and got his own ladder. When he placed the ladder against the school, he realized it was too short, so he encouraged Mark to jump. Other children did jump, and Max caught several, but as Mark struggled to crawl over the sill, the room flashed over and Mark fell back into the blazing classroom. Father of Mark and John Stachura.
Staggs, Jay
Civil Defense Volunteer
Staggs drove parents frantically searching for their children to hospitals and the morgue.
Stapleton, Edmund T.
Funeral Delivery Director
Stapleton sent several hearses to the scene to help to transport children to both the morgue and to hospitals. Later, he also assisted at the morgue. He passed away on February 20, 2005.
Steinmetz, Richard C.
Coroner's Inquest Juror
Steinmetz, chief special agent for the Mutual Investigation Bureau, said “It is wrong for inspectors to give the impression that a school is safe merely because no violations are found.” He urged fire safety experts to meet with teachers and principals and explain the possible results of fires starting in specific areas, and to then design fire drills accordingly.
Stevens, Clifford
Fourth grade boy
Stobierski, Kathleen
Second grade girl age 7
Stobierski, Michael
Kindergarten boy age 5
Stoller, Christopher
Fourth grade boy age 9
Chris was one of the students assigned to carry wastepaper from his classroom to the basement. He and Robert Gagliardi were among the last to be in the basement before the fire was discovered.
Strativaris, Gregory
Fourth grade boy
Sturtevant, James
Eighth grade boy in room 209
Sullivan, Barbara
Fourth grade girl
Sutton, Margaret
Hospital Switchboard Operator
Margaret fielded hundreds of calls from frantic parents searching for their children.
Swaner, Charles
Policeman

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Taddeo, Miss
Second grade teacher in room 102
Taglia, Angela
Fifth grade girl age 9 in room 105
Sister of Dan and Joanne Taglia.
Taglia, Dan
Third grade boy age 7 in room 101
Brother of Angela and Joanne Taglia.
Taglia, Joanne
Seventh grade girl age 11 in room 201
Sister of Angela and Dan Taglia.
Taliani, Debbie
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 207
Like most of her classmates in Room 207, Debbie escaped without injury, but just barely. Sister of Donna Taliani.
Taliani, Donna
Kindergarten girl age 5 in Mary Hall
Sister of Debbie Taliani.
Tamburrino, Mary Louise
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
Tampone, Frank
Boy age 6
Tampone, Philip
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 208 (fatality)
Cousin of Teressa and Anthony Lombardo.
Tanzie, Mary
Girl
Mary was treated for her injuries at St. Anne's Hospital.
Tarenski, Mrs. Peter
Neighbor
Mrs. Tarenski lived at 900 N. Avers Avenue, across the street from the school. She saw a teacher leaning out of a second floor window shouting, “Everything is on fire up here!” She also saw children hanging out of the windows, screaming and crying.
Tarsa, Alice
Neighbor
Alice lived at 912 N. Avers. “When I first looked out Monday, I just couldn't comprehend what was happening. I saw the smoke, but I thought the children were throwing bundles from the second floor windows. And then, oh God, I realized it wasn't bundles plunging down, but little kids.” Alice's home across the street from the school became something of a clearing house for boys who had escaped from the fire, while another neighbor, Antoinette Tartaglia handled the girls. Several other neighbors welcomed cold, confused and frightened children into their homes as well.
Tartaglia, Antoinette
Neighbor
Antoinette lived at 948 N. Avers. Together with neighbor Alice Tarsa, she took dazed and confused children into her home. She took in some 30 girls until their parents could be contacted, while Alice did the same for about 12 boys.
Tatone, Louis
Fourth grade boy age 11 in room B
Cousin of Mariann Siragusa.
Taylor, Dorothy R.N.
Nurse at St. Anne's Hospital
When Nurse Taylor heard of the OLA tragedy, she volunteered her nursing services at St. Anne's Hospital. She was assigned to care for fourteen-year-old burn victim Valerie Thoma, which she did, right up until Valerie died of her injuries on March 10, 1959.
Tedesco, Joanne
Fifth grade girl
Tesauro, Sylvia
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 211
Sylvia was hospitalized at Walther Memorial with burns. “Two girls entered our classroom and said the hall was filled with smoke. Sister tried to lead the class downstairs. We were forced back by thick smoke and had to go to the windows to get air. Many of the pupils became hysterical and were forced to remain until firemen raised ladders. As I came down a ladder, other pupils were jumping and falling from windows all about me. There was blood on the ground and children were lying all around as I reached the ground.”
Testa, Louis
Kindergarten Boy Age 5 in Mary Hall
Thibodeau, Donna
Girl age 7
Sister of Roger Thibodeau.
Thibodeau, Roger
Fourth grade boy age 9
Roger passed away in January 2004 from a heart attack. Brother of Donna Thibodeau.
Thoma, Valerie Ann
Eighth grade girl age 14 in room 209 (fatality)
Valerie passed away on March 10, 1959
Thorpe, Robert
Fireman
Thorpe was a member of Hook and Ladder Company 26.
Tianp, John
Second grade boy age 7
Tillmer, Vallerie
Girl
Tortorice, Judy
Sixth grade girl age 11
Sister of Rose Tortorice, daughter of Sam Tortorice.
Tortorice, Rose
Eighth grade girl age 13 in room 209
Rose was rescued, along with a number of her classmates, by her father, Sam, and by Father Joseph Ognibene. Mr. Tortorice and Father Ognibene together swung children from the rear window of room 209 into a window in the annex, where they could escape down an interior metal staircase and out to safety. Sister of Judy Tortorice, daughter of Sam Tortorice.
Tortorice, Sam
Parent of two girls attending OLA
Tortorice, along with Father Joseph Ognibene, helped rescue children from room 209, including his own daughter, Rose. Although his heroic efforts saved many children, the fire took a toll on him as it did so many who witnessed it up close and personal. He died of cancer in 1986. Father of Rose and Judy Tortorice.
Tortorell, Dan
Chicago Tribune Photographer
Photographer who captured the first arial photographs of the fire.
Travers, Kenny
Second grade boy age 7
Traynor, Diane
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210
Diane sustained burns to her back and upper arms. Sister of Donald and Raymond Traynor, cousin of Dennis Skinder.
Traynor, Donald
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212
Don suffered from smoke inhalation and minor burns to his hands and arms. Brother of Diane and Raymond Traynor, cousin of Dennis Skinder.
Traynor, Raymond
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 203
Brother of Diane and Donald Traynor, cousin of Dennis Skinder.
Treppiedi, Joanne
Fourth grade girl
Tristano, Pearl
Sixth grade lay teacher in room 206
Pearl Tristano was a twenty-four-year-old fifth-grade lay teacher who was teaching in room 206 on the day of the fire. She and lay teacher Dorothy Caughlan in room 205 herded their students quickly out of the school and into the church next door. As they left the building, Miss Tristano tripped the fire alarm. There is some question as to whether or not the alarm actually sounded at that time - some reports hold that it did not and that she returned minutes later and tripped it a second time. In either case, she is the person who activated the fire alarm, which began to ring throughout the school at 2:42 pm. She was not injured.
Troka, Beth
Second grade girl age 7 in room 103
Today, she is Beth Atkins. She retired from the Chicago Police Department in 2015, where she was a Detective Sergeant.
Trotta, John David
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 211 (fatality)
Trybalski, Robert
Eighth grade boy age 13
Bobby suffered burns and was treated at the emergency room of Garfield Park Hospital.
Tuchbreiter, Roy
Coroner's Jury Foreman
Turek, M.H.
Physician
Once firemen breached the second floor classrooms, Turek helped firemen search for living victims for first evacuation.

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Uccetta, Serge
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 208
Serge escaped down a ladder placed at his classroom window before the fire department arrived. He was uninjured.
Urban, Joseph
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 209
Joey jumped into his mother's arms. She suffered an injured knee but Joey was unhurt.
Urban, Lucille
Parent
Urban ran to the school and, standing outside her son's classroom, had him jump from his classroom into her arms. She suffered a minor knee injury but saved her son from injury or death. Mother of Joseph Urban.
Urbanita, Sister Mary
Sixth grade teacher in room 204
Uting, Francesca
Sixth grade girl age 12 in room 205
Sister of Johnna Uting.
Uting, Johnna
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212
Johnna broke her right ankle jumping from a window of room 212. Sister of Francesca Uting.

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Vainisi, Frank
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 106
Frank escaped without injury.
Vainisi, John
First grade boy age 6 in room 104
John escaped without injury.
Veller, Carl
Fourth grade boy
Veller, Michael
First grade boy in Joseph Hall
Vendetta, William
Chicago Tribune Photographer
William arrived on scene at 3:30 and shot both black and white and color photographs.
Van Geertry, Judith
Fourth grade girl age 9
Ventrella, Linda
Second grade girl age 7 in room 102
Verzani, Jolanda
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 105
Sister of Peter Verzani.
Verzani, Peter
Sixth grade boy age 11 in room 207
With fire and smoke blocking one door of their classroom, and the other door locked, Peter and his classmates were trapped. Mere seconds before they all suffocated, the janitor, James Raymond, unlocked the rear door and together with Father Hund, feverishly worked to get everyone on their feet and down the school's only external fire escape to safety.

Brother of Jolanda Verzani.

Verdone, Anthony
Eighth grade boy in room 211
Anthony was helping with a clothing drive at the church and was therefore not injured. Brother of Carl and James Verdone.
Verdone, Carl
Boy
Carl escaped without injury. Brother of Anthony and James Verdone.
Verdone, James
Boy
James escaped without injury. Brother of Anthony and Carl Verdone.
Vinceri, Carol
Seventh grade girl age 13 in room 201
Virgilio, Mary
Eighth grade girl age 14 in room 211 (fatality)
Vitacco, Catherine
Fourth grade girl age 10 in room 104
Sister of Christina and Frank Vitacco. Cathy later married Chuck Gerlach, a survivor of room 201.
Vitacco, Christina Marie
Seventh grade girl age 12 in room 208 (fatality)
Sister of Catherine and Frank Vitacco. Next door neighbor to fireman Stanley Wojnicki.
Vitacco, Frank
Second grade boy age 7
Brother of Christina and Catherine Vitacco.
Vitale, Thea
Seventh grade girl age 11 in room 202
Vitello, Carol
Second grade girl age 7 in room 104
"I remember a slight commotion as doors opened and we all filed out into the smokey corridors. Fortunately, we were near to an exit and were immediately directed across the street to the convent only to look back at what seemed very surreal to a 7 year old such as myself. As I looked up and back at the school I remember thinking why are those kids waving at us from the second floor? I know I didn't realize initially that they were screaming and yelling for help...but I do remember the vision as if it were yesterday. Suddenly Iowa street became filled with parents, people looking for their children, grabbing you to see if you belonged to them. Then we were brought into the church and kept together by classrooms so that parents were able to find their children. I lived directly across the street on Hamlin and Iowa and watched my father crying as he came up the stairs to our apartment building, still not knowing if I was safe. The entire night we watched as the building smoldered ... There is very little left to say. It is amazing how one's memory can store such things."
Voskresenski, Diane
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212

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Wade, Regina
Second grade girl age 7
Walpole, Donald
Chicago Fire Department arson investigator
Walpole took photographs of the aftermath for the fire department's investigation.
Walsh, Kenneth
Fireman
Walter, Larry
Eighth grade boy age 13
Larry suffered burns to his face and hands and was hospitalized at Garfield Park Hospital.
Wiater, Kathryn
Fifth grade girl age 12
Wiedrich, Robert
Chicago Tribune Reporter
Wiedrich arrived on scene while children were jumping out of windows. Once the fire was extinguished, he convinced Walter McCarron to allow him into the school, but he later wished he hadn't. “I was never so sorry I made that decision. It was just an absolutely horrible disaster in there. The dead kids, the smell, the water dripping ... it was a sight I'll never forget.”
Wankowski, Gail
Third grade girl age 8 in room A
Warzecha, James
Eighth grade boy age 13 in room 209
James was one of a number of students interviewed on WGN on the day of the fire. He injured his legs when he jumped from a window. While crawling away, he ran into his friend, Bill O'Brien, who gave him a piggyback ride home.
Wassinger, Ellen Ann
Fourth grade girl in room 210
Wassinger, Gary
Seventh grade boy age 11 in room 201
Waswil, Stanley
Boy age 13
Wenckowski, Rochelle
Fifth grade girl age 11 in room 207
Wenckowski, Charlene
Second grade girl age 8
Wentworth, Margaret
Fourth grade girl
Wessel, Donald
Seventh grade boy age 12 in room 202
Whedon, Harry
Fireman
Whedon was the Captain of Squad 1.
Wheeler, Kathy
First grade girl age 5 in Joseph Hall
White, John
Fireman
John was hospitalized at Walther Memorial Hospital after suffering smoke inhalation while fighting the OLA fire.
Whittaker, Teresa
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room 210
Teresa was severely burned but survived.
Wicyk, Peter (Skip)
Fourth grade boy age 8 in room 106
Wilkins, Mrs. Shirley
Mrs. Wilkins was single at the time of the fire, maiden name is not known
If you know Mrs. Wilkins' maiden name, please contact Webmaster.
Wille, Lois
Reporter
Lois was a junior reporter with the Chicago Daily News. At the time of the fire, she was answering phones at the newspaper office, filling in for an ill telephone operator. That evening, she conducted an interview with a couple who had lost their only child in the fire. “It was just terribly moving because they brought out all the scrapbooks—I think she was an only child—they brought out her scrapbooks and confirmation pictures and her little dresses and talked and talked. I probably spent nearly the whole night there ... and then I went back and wrote the story, sometime before dawn. That was the first tragedy of proportions like that that I worked on.”
Williams, Cathy
Fourth grade girl
Windle, John
Fireman
Windle was in charge of the Chicago Fire Department's new Snorkel Unit -- he operated the snorkel at the OLA fire.
Wisz, Joseph Wayne
Fifth grade boy age 10 in room 212 (fatality)
Wlas, John
Seventh grade boy
Wojnicki, Richard
Second grade boy age 7 in room 102
Wojnicki, Stanley
Fireman
Lieutenant Wojnicki was a member of Engine Company 85, the first Company to arrive at the fire. He didn't talk about the fire to anyone for over a year afterward. “I had nightmares. I'd wake up my wife screaming at night. I was going to quit after that fire. I get very emorional about it. 'Cause why couldn't we save those kids?” Wojnicki passed away on the 30th anniversary of the fire, December 1, 1988.

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Xavier, Sister Mary St.
Fourth grade teacher in room B

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Zacharko, Frank
Second grade boy age 7 in room 102
Zagone, Geraldine
First grade girl
Geraldine escaped injury because she went home early the day of the fire due to illness. Sister of Rosemary Zagone.
Zagone, Linda
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212
Linda was admitted to St. Anne's Hospital.
Zagone, Paulette Marie
First grade girl age 6
Paulette escaped without injury.
Zagone, Rosemary
Fifth grade girl age 10 in room 212
Rosemary was hospitalized at Walter Memorial Hospital with severe burns, and broken bones resulting from jumping from her classroom window. Sister of Geraldine Zagone.
Zangara, Philip
Third grade boy age 8 in room A
Zaworski, Diane
Fourth grade girl age 9 in room B
Zito, Yolanda
Fourth grade girl age 9
Zochowski, Gerald "Al"
Fourth grade boy age 8
Al escaped without injury. Brother of Rich Zochowski.
Zochowski, Thomas "Rich"
Fifth grade boy age 10
Rich escaped without injury. Brother of Al Zochowski.
Zyck, Theresa
Fourth grade girl

People Listed: 957

Page last updated: 8/14/2017