On New Years night, about an hour after the clock hit twelve, a jerk playing with a lighter caught dry Christmas greenery on fire during a New Years party at a community center in the small mining town of Chapais in Quebec. When the fire was almost put out by fire extinguishers and pails of water, people escaping from the fire pushed a door open and the fire expanded into a fireball.1 An emergency fire hose was nearby on the wall, nobody thought to grab it. 42 people died escaping from the fire. The flames also maimed many people during the escape. 2
1. ”Prankster Blamed After Blaze Kills 42.” The Montreal Gazette, January 2, 1980. Accessed September 26, 2014. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=Fr8DH2VBP9sC&dat=19800102&printsec=frontpage&hl=en.
2. Hunter, Jennifer. “Untouched Fire House Might Have Saved Chapais Victims.” The Montreal Gazette, January 3, 1980. Accessed September 26, 2014. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=31Q0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=aLkFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2522,438127.