Memorial unveiled for victims of the Blue Bird café fire
The City of Montreal unveiled a monument in honour of the 37 people killed in the Blue Bird Café fire.
The fire was lit on September 1st, 1972, 40 years ago.
Families, friends and supporters of the victims have long been lobbying the city to install the memorial in memory of those lost, and that was finally done this year.
The Blue Bird Café was downstairs from the Wagon Wheel Bar. When three men were denied entrance to the bar, they set it ablaze by drenching the staircase in gasoline. They pled guilty to the charges.
There were dozens of injuries.
It is reported that because certain exits were locked, evacuating the building quickly proved impossible.
"I heard a commotion behind me, it was a fellow who ran up the stairs, put the gas on the stairs, putting the gas on the stairs, then running down and lighting it," said Gerry Lowengren who was at the Wagon Wheel Bar that night. "We were begging people to jump out the windows, just begging them because they were so hesitant, just procrastinating, because of their fear of jumping."
Last year, Helen Fotopoulos was at the memorial held in the parking lot where the Blue Bird once stood. She told CJAD News the city would be doing something.
Today, many families feel relief knowing the memory of the tragedy that took place that night will never be forgotten.
John Robert Allan
Bonnie Rae Evelyn Hill
Judith Ann Towers
Kathryn Elizabeth Witanen