FIRE AT ALL HALLOWS CHURCH MAY 23RD,1964 : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

Looking for any info regarding the fire at All Hallows Church at Newhall and Oakdale streets on May 23rd 1964. I have several pages of the Examiner dated May 24th, would like any info anyone may have. I know it was in the rec. hall and it was a fire dancer that started the blaze. But not a whole lot more. thanks

-- felicia kroetsch (, September 12, 2002


The whole Examiner and Chronicle are available on microfilm at the main library. I've done a lot of research on early 60s events and have found their index very complete and easy to use. Take some extra change with you, because the dang printer is hard to position properly for printouts.

Here's an essay about its reopening as a Samoan parish:

-- Rosa (, September 13, 2002.

Thanks so much for your leads. Unfortunately I am in Colorado, so a trip to the library isn't possible. For now anyway... I lost my mother in the tragic fire and my father was also injured. I was only 4 at the time and with my fathers death two years later, I only have the newspaper I spoke of earlier for info. If there is any resource available online, until I am able to visit, I would love the tip. Thanks Again, Felicia Kroetsch

-- felicia kroetsch (, September 14, 2002.

The information that have on this fire is from second hand accounts. The firhouse at Shafter and Ingalls in the Bayview responded to this. At the time it was Truck 17 and Engine 11(now Engine 17). I worked there for 8 years and remember some of the older guys talking about this. They weren't there but came to the house when those original crews were still working. The descriptions that I heard was that some sort of festival was happening. A fire dancer accidentally set the fire which consumed the hall. The arriving crews found people as far as a block away on fire and attended to them while other crews fought the actually structure fire. They said the scene was very horific. I'm sorry for your loss in the truly awful tragedy.

-- A. Douglas (, October 01, 2002.

Dear Felicia, I am so sorry for your loss. The events of that night still haunt me. We lived directly across the street from the hall at 1726 Oakdale Ave. I was 11 years old and the first one in my family to realize there was a fire, my bedroom became illuminated with the light from the blaze and I ran for my parents. The firefighters used our flat (my grandparents lived below, my family in the top flat) so my memories are mostly of the sounds of that night and firemen in and out of the home using our telephone, etc. I recall being hysterical and one of my parents made me drink a shot of some sort of alcohol to calm me and they had me lay down. I have an intense fear of fire since that awful night. We attended All Hallows Church and were close to the priests & the church was such a sense of security for me. I think that night was the end of innocence in my life, my first glimpse of tragedy and one of such magnitude its forever a part of me. Once again, I am so very sorry for your loss.

-- donna taylor (, October 08, 2003.

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