Tyrone, PA Pennsylvania House Hotel Fire, Jan 1972
FIREMEN CONTINUE HUNT FOR HOTEL FIRE VICTIMS.
Tyrone, Pa. (UPI) -- Firemen used pickaxes, tons of salt and heavy road equipment in zero temperature today to break through a 10-inch ice shield in a search of the debris of a burned out hotel for the bodies of 13 persons, including a family of seven.
Four bodies could be seen under the ice.
Authorities said 15 persons were known to be in the 75-year-old, three-story, frame Pennsylvania House Hotel early Sunday when it was destroyed by a quick-spreading fire, which also wrecked two adjoining frame buildings and damaged two brick structures.
Two hotel occupants and three persons in apartments in the burned out adjoining buildings were known to have survived the blaze.
Thirty-one persons, including 28 volunteer firemen, were treated at Tyrone Hospital for injuries and released. Most of the firemen suffered frostbite and smoke inhalation.
Family Of Seven.
Among the fire victims were DOMINICK TURIANO and his wife, JO-ANN, owners of the hotel, and their five children, CHRISTINE, 14, MICHAEL, 13, MARY ELIZABETH, 10, DOMINICK, JR., 5, and MICHELE MARIE, 7 months.
The others were RICHARD BELL, WALTER HIENY, 59, JOHN MANGINO and MALCOLM MILLER, all of Tyrone; CHARLES W. JONES, Nazareth, Pa., father of eight children; and a man identified only as JOHNSON.
Mayor JAMES W. HOOVER and fire Chief ROBERT M. WILSON said it was the worst fire in the history of this central Pennsylvania community of less than 8,000 persons. HOVER said, the blaze apparently broke out when an oil furnace overheated.
The temperature was 10 below zero when the fire broke out in the hotel at 5:25 a.m., EST, Sunday, and the 60 to 70 volunteer firemen who fought the flames for seven hours found the cold and the harsh winds impossible to contend with.
WILSON said firemen were drenched with water when they tried to thaw frozen fire hydrants and hoses. Many of them had to rush to their homes or firehouses more than once to change clothing.
WILSON, who said he had to make two changes of clothing said, "most of the boys had frostbite, frozen ears and frozen toes, and they got too much smoke. The wind kept whirling the smoke around. We all had the taste of smoke in our mouths."
WILSON said one fireman fell off a roof but was not hurt seriously.
The fire chief said firemen remained at the scene during the night, working in four-hour shifts. They hosed down flames which flared up through the ice from the smoking ruins and spread more than three tons of salt over the ice.
Today they were aided by highway construction workers operating a grade-all boom, a 4-ton payloader and a smaller one for scraping the ice, and three dump trucks to remove debris.
The hotel occupants who escaped the blaze were JAMES W. PETERS, who was employed at the hotel, and HUGH GOSS, 67, a guest.
One of the burned-out buildings adjoining the hotel housed a fuel supply company and an apartment on the second floor, and the other had a dentist's office on the ground floor and an apartment above.
A couple who lived above the dentist's office and an elderly woman who resided above the fuel supply firm escaped unharmed.
Cumberland Evening Times Maryland 1972-01-17
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!