Clint Morse introduced our guest speaker                      Dan Wheat
Dan started Rotary 65 years ago in Beaumont Texas. Dan did point out that out of that time there was 3 years he did not attend Rotary since they were living in a small town. Dan is the correct man to tell us about fires.
He has been in 3 different fires in 3 different hotels.
Dan noted that the decision to flee or hunker down can be made for Hurricanes, Tornados, Floods or Fires like going on in California. He told us about when he and family we staying at the Conrad Hilton Hotel the time it caught on fire. The hotel had 1,544 rooms and 30 floors. It a grand place for sure. In 1928 the Oscar's were held there. After falling on hard time it was used as a Technical training school for the US Army Air Corp. The Democratic National Convention was held there in 1968.
January 26th 1970 about 6:45 Dan heard fire trucks in the distance. They stopped at the hotel and started going in. They were on the 13th floor and brother and family were on the 19th floor. They then started to head to elevators. One opened and they started down. When they got to lobby they went outside to see what's going on. They saw ropes made of bed sheets hanging out windows. The ladders only went up to 7th floor and the fire was on the 9th floor. The brother was going to start down the outside stairs that were bolted to building. They passed fireman going up with hoses to put out fire on 9. When they finally made it to the lobby they met up with Dan and family.
There was a group of 40 deaf kids from a school staying at the hotel with only one chaperone. Wow they were good boys and all but two made it safely out of the building. These two were the only victims in the fire. See the links below the hear their stories.
After thinking about taking the elevator to get down Dan says that's not a good idea. These days just wait in your room until someone comes to rescue you, or take the stairs. It's a very good idea to find the stairs close to your room when you check into anywhere.