Deadly school fire marked for 50th anniversary

HILLSIDE Smoke and flames killed 92 students and three nuns December 1, 1958, in Our Lady of the Angels School on the West Side.

On Saturday, a ceremony was held in Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside.

A seventh grader that fateful day jumped from the second floor to escape the fire, breaking his leg.

"I worked my way out to the window sill and was actually standing on the window sill and reached back to steady myself against the side of the building. It was a brick building. And the bricks burned my hand. It had gotten that hot inside the building by this point. And I literally almost fell off the window sill, I guess, and hit the ground," said Bob Early, fire survivor.

"The grief was incredible. My mother was a funeral director for 50 years. It was the hardest thing she ever did in her life," said Maureen Sullivan, daughter of funeral ome directors.

Survivors, families and friends will attend a memorial Mass Sunday in Holy Family Church.

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