Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hot Pion

- Victims jumping to their deaths from smoke filled rooms to escape the blaze.

- Smoke filled stairways that sent the smoke up to upper floors like a chimney.

- Firefighters climbing up to face the blaze, in spite of the dangers and inadequate equipment.

This is not a re-cap of events that occurred on September 11th. Rather, it is a few of the true events that happened at the Pioneer Hotel Fire on December 20th, 1970, which resulted in the deaths of 29 people and the change of many of the fire codes and standard equipment issued for firefighters in this City.

I had a chance yesterday to speak briefly with Assistant Chief Al Pesqueira of the Northwest Fire District. Chief Pesqueira not only responded to the fire in time to see some of the victims being removed from the structure. He also recently spearheaded a new documentary about the fire.

The Chief said he was concerned that the anniversary of the fire would come without anyone really taking notice of it, so he came up with the idea of a documentary.

This documentary, called Hot Pion because, during the fire, only the letters H....O...T and P...I...O...N... were lit up on the Hotel pioneer sign, is being shown at the Fox Theater downtown next Sunday. Included in the movie will be numerous photos, videos, interviews and info about the hotel and the fire itself, much of which has not been seen before.

****If you are into history, disaster stories, fires or firemen, take a trip downtown on the 19th to check out the Chief's show*****

Hot Pion: The Pioneer Fire Documentary

Sunday, December 19, 6:30 pm

Fox Theater, Tucson

17 West Congress St.
Tucson AZ 85701

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