Friday, January 31, 2014

New Survivor Photo Acquired

Anna & Edward W. Sherwood
Winecoff fire survivor Ed Sherwood, 54, of River Forest, Illinois told his story to the Chicago Tribune for Sunday's December 8, 1946 edition:


"I went to my bedroom (room 922) about 7:30 p.m. and retired, leaving a call for 8:00 a.m. I had intended to check out and leave Atlanta today. I am a light sleeper and I woke up at 3:30 a.m. hearing cries of 'fire' from the alley under my room. I opened the door but found the hall full of smoke, so I shut the door at once and plugged up the cracks with bed sheets.
"After a while the floor got so hot I could no longer stand on it. I opened a window and crawled out on the ledge. The heat from the room was so intense I managed to close the window while clinging to the edge. I could see dozens of persons from my floor and from floors above and below me also standing on window ledges. Every once in a while one of them would shriek and dive off.
"A woman was standing on a ledge next to mine. She kept crying that she was going to fall. She was just too far away for me to reach her. I pleaded with her to hang on, but it did no good. She plunged down.
"I was clinging there praying, and the heat was so intense it seemed I could not bear it another minute. Then from the office building across the alley, firemen pushed a ladder at me. They were above me and the ladder came down at about a 30 degree angle. I grabbed it and got it fixed to the ledge. Then I crawled upward across the alley to the office window."

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