This page tells the tragic story of the Hotel Vendome Fire & Collapse, which occurred during the mid to late-afternoon hours of Saturday, June 17, 1972. As the fire in the upper floors of the former 7-story hotel (including penthouse) was being extinguished, a collapse of the southeast corner of the building occurred. Many firefighters operating in the upper floors were trapped in the pile of rubble that ensued. After extensive rescue operations had concluded, at 0245 hours the next day, nine firefighters had lost their lives.
This fire/collapse remains the largest Line-Of-Duty Death (LODD) incident in the history of the Boston Fire Department. The Hotel Vendome was built in stages, first in 1872 at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Dartmouth Street. In 1881, an addition was built along Commonwealth Avenue, which featured a new main entryway, and was constructed using steel beams supported by masonry bearing walls, with a cut-stone facade to the sixth floor and slate-covered mansard roof and tower above.