December 13, 1977 – Fire at Providence College

Thirty-six years ago tonight a fire broke out in a dormitory at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. Ten students died in the fire. I was a sophomore at the school at the time and memories of the fire and its aftermath stay with me today. I wrote a blog post about it three years ago. The post now has dozens of comments and continues to receive new ones (if you Google “Providence College fire” the blog post is the first thing that appears).

Rather than repost the article, I’ll just link to it and urge everyone to click through and read it and all of the comments. And while you’re reading it, think about the importance of fire safety in every aspect of our lives today.

At least two other former students have written about the fire. One named Mark Donovan, had a longstanding interest in fire fighting and so had developed a relationship with members of the Providence Fire Department. Because of that relationship, he was able to reach the fire floor of the dormitory and recently wrote his own blog post recounting what he saw. The two parts of his story are HERE and HERE. Another former student, Martha Reynolds, records her memories HERE.