On January 25, 1970, a large hotel, consisting of 2600
rooms and fire–resistive construction materials, which
comprised three–quarters of a city block that was
shared with a parking lot, was set afire. The cause of this
blaze resulted from the careless disposal of smoking paraphernalia
among the chairs located within the elevator lobby on the
ninth floor. Neither automatic sprinklers nor automatic
fire detection systems existed within the structure. The
corridors, which extended 1200 feet, lacked smoke detectors.
Early in the morning, a guest notified the front desk
of heat and smoke within the ninth floor corridor. Students
attending a deaf–mute school occupied this floor.
Attempting to rouse the occupants of the rooms, the security
guard called and knocked on the doors until the occupants
prevented his continued efforts. After alarming the fire
department regarding the fire, telephone operators called
all guest rooms; several guests later stated they never
received such calls.