I have never been on a fire escape. I take them for granted. For some reason, I took this shot of a fire escape in Seattle. This prompted me to dig a bit about the history of fire escapes. That lead to a 1975 Boston tragedy/miracle involving a rubbish burn pile, building fire, attempt rescue and collapse of a fire escape. A reporter captured the attempt rescue and fire escape collapse.
Below, a firefighter stands on the fire escape with a woman and her god daughter. Moments latter the fire ladder is raised and the firefighter gets onto the ladder in preparation of assisting the woman/child off the fire escape.
Boston firefighter Robert O’Neill is seen with Diana Bryant and Tiare Jones, age 2 years, and helicopter pilot Joe Green, above, prior to the fire escape collapse that would kill Bryant, at 129 Marlborough St. on July 22, 1975. Photo Stanley Forman
Then Boston Herald photographer, Stanley Forman captures the heart wrenching tragedy of the collapse. Forman received a Pulitzer for the images.
Diana Bryant died from her sustained injuries after falling five stories. Little Tiare Jones landed atop Bryant and survived, although injured. Below, a firefighter performs mouth to mouth on the girl.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be
satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”