Chicago Survivor of Our Lady of Angels School Fire Recalls Ordeal 60 Years Later - via ABC7

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Chicago, IL — On December 1, 1958, the Our Lady of Angels fire killed 95 students and nuns and changed building and fire code for schools forever.

A survivor, who was 12 at the time of the fire, spoke with ABC7 on the anniversary of the fire.

Surge Uccetta jumped from a second story window to escape the fire.

"I mean, you have no choice," he said. "Because everybody behind you is pushing and screaming, because they're trying to get out, and you have to do whatever you have to do to get out,” Uccetta explained.




See a snippet from the ABC7 story here:

Saturday marks the 60th anniversary of the Our Lady Of Angels school fire in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood, which claimed 95 lives.

Serge Uccetta was just 12 years old when he had to make a choice: jump out of a second floor window to the ground below or perish in the flames.

"The only way out was through the windows because the fire had pretty much come and there was no way to get out in the hallway," Uccetta said.

Looking on at the site of the fire where his old school once stood, he remembers it all.

"I mean, you have no choice," he said. "Because everybody behind you is pushing and screaming, because they're trying to get out, and you have to do whatever you have to do to get out."

Uccetta made it out of the fire but will never forget what he saw next.
"I mean, you're sitting here looking at kids screaming, jumping out the window," he said.


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