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Camden, NJ Catholic High School Burns, Apr 1960

School At Height Of Fire


Camden, N. J. (AP) -- A three-alarm fire Sunday night swept a Camden Catholic High School, destroying two old buildings which housed classrooms and an auditorium. Only one classroom building and an annex were left standing.
For a time the raging flames threatened the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the seat of the Camden Roman Catholic Diocese, a convent and other church buildings in a block square area.
Twelve of Camden's 13 fire companies, about 70 men strong, contained the blaze.
As a safety precaution and because of heavy smoke, a priest carried the Blessed Sacrament from a chapel in the convent. Some 35 nuns were evacuated. They spent the night at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.
There were no injuries.
Fire Chief EDWARD MACDOWELL said the blaze started in the two-story stone building known as the Lyceum, which housed the auditorium and classrooms. It was built in 1894. From here the fire spread to the other structure, a three-story brick building known as St. Mary's Grammar School. It had been buildt in 1874 and later converted to high school use.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
Neither was a damage estimate immediately available.
Meanwhile, school officials planned a conference today to determine how they would continue classes for the 1,400 pupils who are scheduled to resume their studies Tuesday after an Easter recess.

The Progress Clearfield Pennsylvania 1960-04-18


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CCHS Fire 1960

The day following the fire many students, whose homerooms were in the all but demolished building, came to the scene. We went through piles of books, debris, looking for any of our possessions. I found none.

Many of the girls were crying.

The classrooms that were thoroughly demolished were mostly Freshroom and sophomore homerooms.

As we looked, many of us took a piece of our school....I still have a small charred piece of brick that was near my homeroom.

Camden, NJ Catholic High School Burns, Apr 1960 Photo

Camden, NJ Catholic High School Burns, Apr 1960
Posted June 12th, 2008 by Stu Beitler
School At Height Of Fire

FIRE SWEEPS CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL AT CAMDEN. This photo is a Copyright Photo by CFD Photographer Bob Bartosz Now retired in NC

article | by Dr. Radut