Our Lady of Angels School fire: New sprinkler system dedicated at site of tragic fire

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new set of sprinklers was unveiled Wednesday at the site of the Our Lady of Angels School fire, where 92 students and three nuns were killed in 1958.

The tragedy occurred on December 1, 1958. It changed protocol nationwide and new fire codes were enacted across the country.

Since then, the school was rebuilt and used until 2016, when it closed. The building is now part of the Our Lady of the Angels Mission, serving as a food pantry, daycare center and after school help.

WATCH: Fire victims remembered at Holy Family Church


EMBED More News Videos

Although much time has passed since 1958, the memories and the pain are still fresh.



The mission has gotten a major upgrade in the form of a new fully automatic sprinkler system, all donated, for the entire four-story building.

"We cannot think of a better way to memorialize the 92 children and three sisters who died here on December 1, 1958. We are extremely grateful for those who made it possible and have this active memorial for those who perished here," said Sister Stephanie Baliga with Mission of Our Lady of Angels.

WATCH: Steve Lasker discusses photographing the deadly fire 60 years ago


EMBED More News Videos

Photographer Steve Lasker recalls covering the Our Lady of Angels fire and taking the picture that became famous around the nation.



The building's new system was dedicated Wednesday and members who helped make it all happen, were there to mark the milestone.

"And let us pray for almighty God's blessing upon all the work that will take place here at the former school of Our Lady of the Angels, the site of a terrible tragedy. We pray for new life and new beginning," said Bishop-elect Bob Lombardo.

WATCH: School fire survivor recalls terrifying ordeal 60 years later


EMBED More News Videos

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



The cost of the labor, engineering and more was donated by fire sprinkler fitters, the U.S. Alliance Fire Protection, plumbers and pipe fitter union members.

The cost of the project, which was covered by donations, was $400,000.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.