Book Cover

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Reader In Florida Writes

I work in the fire protection industry. I am deeply saddened by the tragedy of this fire and the unnecessary lives lost and shattered by this fire. I read the book cover to cover in one mind opening read. While reading this book I felt like I could see the progression of the fire and what happened.
I have the deepest respect for the work that you and your co-author have done here with the writing of this book and trying to bring to light the truth of what happened.
It is so tragic - the loss of life - when the cost of fire safety is compromised for the all mighty dollar. To this day, it's the most important thing that can be designed into a building, but one of the things that people squawk about when trying to cut costs. Life Safety, is what this is all about.
After reading your book and doing a little more research this is the fire that made the push for more stringent codes and and standards. It's a shame that it took the loss of life in the Winecoff fire to bring about the fire and life safety changes that we take for granted today.
I never really gave any thought about counting doors from my room to the nearest exit in case of fire. I probably, like many others, just take it for granted there are fire protection systems in place to protect me. I will take note of where I am and where to go a little more carefully.
I want to give my deepest sympathies and condolences to all of the people who perished in the fire and the families members left to pick up the pieces.
I will think evermore carefully about the work that I do and the impact it has on other people's lives.

God Bless,
Stephen McDonnell
Cape Coral, Florida

Dear Stephen,
You're doing God's work. I think it's great!
Thank you,
Allen Goodwin

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Reader's Question

I would like to know if all of the 119 fire victims in 1946 were positively identified?

Yes. However, the remains of two of the Youth Assembly delegates from Gainesville, Francis Thompson and Gwen McCoy, could not be distinguished. They are buried side by side and share a tombstone. They were, in life, the best of friends.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Reader in Massachusetts Writes

Hi Allen,
I purchased the book from you about a week ago, I received it yesterday, and I read it in one sitting. I just couldn't put it down! You - and Mr. Heys - did an excellent job writing it.
I felt like I was right there in that building and that I even knew some of the people. It often hurt to read the details and I swear I could feel the horror and pain that everyone was going through. But I mostly found it all very interesting and fascinating and it opened my eyes even more about how to stay safe in hotels, etc.
It's hard to believe that there were no fire escapes or sprinklers in the Winecoff. Thank goodness buildings now must have all kinds of safety features that were never in place many years ago.
No, I did not have any family or friend connection to the fire. I just have a healthy interest and I have read quite a few books including those about the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub fire which happened a few years before the Winecoff, right here in Massachusetts. I guess it just amazes me how quickly and out of control flames and smoke can get and the awful destruction it can cause. I am drawn to books and movies about fire and I am very curious about it as I know quite a few others are, too.
Oh, one more thing. I must tell you that I didn't realize you were the co-author until I received my book! I looked at the name on the cover and I said to myself, wait a minute I think I actually swapped a couple of emails with this man a few days ago. Then I dug up your initial email and read that A LOT more carefully. That's very nice of you to sign the book. Thank you.
Well, again, kudos to you for putting such an interesting and well-written book together. I think it is extremely important to document history so that certain events including one like this will never be forgotten.
Carol in Tewksbury, MA