The Brooklyn Theater Fire

Tragedy can happen anywhere, and one destructive force that can cause this is fire. In a theater where the only thing a person is looking for is entertainment, a fire starts and the act is over. That’s what happened in the Brooklyn Theater one night on December 5, 1876. Over a thousand people attended that night to watch a comedy and a fire started backstage that promptly ravaged throughout the theater. There were 5 balconies and only one spiral staircase took the people into each balcony. As soon as the fire started people started to panic and the actors tried to calm the people down and keep the play going. But the smoke bothered the people in the first floor and they rushed to get out of the theater through the only 2 doors in the back. The people in the other balconies followed but the staircase was too small to let the stampede of people get out on time and many died in the theater. A lot were wounded and over 200 people rest in the only place that commemorates this horrible tragedy, The Greenwood Cemetery.

During our visit to the BHS, my group got to search up photos of this tragic moment in the history of Brooklyn in the library’s computer. We didn’t find many but the ones we found were stereo-graphs which meant that you had to look at them through a viewer to get a 3D image. Unfortunately we didn’t have a viewer at the moment so we settled for looking at the 2 adjacent images. To have an accurate search we had to type in a lot of different keywords because that was how this software worked best. At the beginning it was a bit confusing but by the end searching up something became easier.

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