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November 16, 2022 43 min

The tragedy at Boston’s Cocoanut Grove in 1942 is still the deadliest nightclub fire in history. The cause of the fire is still unknown; in its wake, advancements were made in fire safety and medical treatments for burn victims.


  • Boston Public Library. “Great Fires of Boston: November 28, 1942.” 12/20/2021.
  • National Fire Protection Association. “The Cocoanut Grove Fire.”
  • LeBlanc, Steve and Bob Salsberg. “Worst US nightclub fire influences safety codes, burn care.” 11/28/2017.
  • Illinois Library. “Major American Fires: Cocoanut Grove Fire.” 8/19/2022.
  • Boston Fire Historical Society. “The Story of the Cocoanut Grove Fire.”
  • New England Historical Society. “The Kid Wrongly Blamed for the Cocoanut Grove Fire.”
  • Fleming, Daniel J. “The Cocoanut Grove Revisited.” Prologue. Vol. 49, No. 3. Fall 2017.
  • Sweeney, Emily. “77 years later, the mystery of the Cocoanut Grove fire remains unsolved.” Boston Globe. 11/27/2019.
  • Cullen, Kevin. “Cocoanut Grove plaque shoved down the street.” Boston Globe. 7/9/2016.
  • Rosenfeld, Eva K. “The Fire That Changed The Way We Think About Grief.” The Crimson. 11/29/2018.
  • National Fire Protection Association. “The Lingering Mystery of the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub Fire.” 11/15/2019. Via YouTube.
  • Grant, Casey. “Legacy of the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub Fire.” WGBH Forum Network. Via YouTube. 8/21/2012.
  • Reilly, William Arthur. “Report Concerning the Cocoanut Grove Fire, November 28, 1942.” 1944.
  • Saffle, Jeffrey R. “The 1942 Fire at Boston's Cocoanut Grove Nightclub.” Edgar J. Poth Memorial Lecture. American Journal of Surgery. Vol. 166. 12/1993.
  • Stewart, Camille L. “The Fire at Cocoanut Grove.” Journal of Burn Care & Research. Volume 36, Number 1. January/February 2015.
  • Veltfort, Helene Rank and George E. Lee. “The Cocoanut Grove Fire: A Study in Scapegoating.” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, Vol. 38, 1943.
  • Grant, Casey C. “Last Dance at Cocoanut Grove.” NFPA Journal. November/December 2007
  • See for privacy information.

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    Tracy V. Wilson

    Holly Frey

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