A little known fire which killed 48 at Penn Ave. & S. Aiken Street in 1931 with many questions

1931 was a horrible time in Pittsburgh with the start of the depression  and numerous bombings by racketeers going on around the city .
But it was also a time of a little known and discussed fire in the city's Garfield neighborhood at the
Little Sisters of the Poor where 48 died in a tragic evening  fire.
 Photos From Pittsburgh Dioceses Archives

Ever since I was a kid and my dad drove down Penn ave at S. Aiken was an  institutional building which was old and run down looking and housed crippled children. I always got the strange feeling thou something horrifying happened there thou not that building the one before it and I was right.
on July 25th 1931.

Which would turn out to be a horrifying day for Elderly and infirm  Inmates as they where then called  at the Little Sisters of the Poor's home . 
A home I never knew existed as far as I knew like many Pittsburgher's their home has been up in the North End  of Pittsburgh  in Brighton Heights 

But this was not always the case as I have now found out they started in Garfield  in a fire trap of a building which appears to have been overcrowded and  exit doors locked at night including a high stone wall around the property.
48 people would die in the fire and many more where badly injured.

The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental  but it might not have been as a careless smoker could have caused it or mentally unstable resident and the construction of the building with its lack of fire proof stairwells apparently no fire alarm not even pull stations and bells  and  no fire safety prevention just helped make the fire all that much worse.
The Catholic church among others seem to always think they are above following building codes. 
They know better they have divine protection well not that night.
So no wonder this fire has been hidden away and forgotten  I have always said the most dangerous place you can take your family on a Sunday is church too many of them are fire traps and accidents waiting to happen.

The old children's home which replaced the little sisters of poor home   on the site was torn down in the 90's and has been replaced with a modern sprinklered fire safe building .

But there are still plenty of old buildings the elderly are in around Pa. which have no sprinklers and lack proper protections and are fire traps and the state has done nothing about them. another tragedy like what happened in 1931 could happen today in a Personnel care home. 

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