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From the Archives: Evicted by deadly Barclay Hotel fire

From the Archives: Evicted by deadly Barclay Hotel fire
March 16, 1972: Leo Altoonian, 85, waits in lobby of the fire-damaged Barclay Hotel for his turn to get his belongings out of his room. (John Malmin / Los Angeles Times)

Staff photographer John Malmin found Leo Altoonian sitting in the Barclay Hotel lobby the day after a deadly fire killed three people. All residents had to relocate from the damaged hotel.

Staff writer David Shaw reported on the fire in the March 15, 1972, Los Angeles Times:

Three persons were killed and seven others injured early this morning when fire raced through the sixth floor of the 76-year-old Barclay Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Four other guests were unaccounted for after a room-by-room search, but firemen weren't certain those guests had been in the hotel this morning.

Most of the 132 guests in the hotel at 103 W. 4th St. scampered down the stairways to safety but firemen had to rescue more than 40. Some were escorted down the stairs, others — including a blind man — were pulled to safety through their room windows, then carried down ladders to the streets .…

The fire that caused $65,000 damage broke out shortly before 7 a.m., quickly spread throughout the sixth floor and into the attic and was under control by 7:36 a.m.

The photo above by Malmin was published on page one of the March 17, 1972, Los Angeles Times. The combo photos below, also by Malmin, accompanied Shaw's story on page one of the March 15, 1972, Los Angeles Times.

This post was originally published on Jan. 27, 2014.

March 15, 1972: Smoke billows from sixth floor fire at Barclay Hotel at 4th and Main Streets. Three
March 15, 1972: In the left photo, smoke billows from a sixth-floor fire at the Barclay Hotel. At right, one of the residents is given oxygen while being moved to an ambulance. John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

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