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Clipped From The Los Angeles Times
Do urges: circuiation.in the west, 1,036,911 dXily, 1.226,132 Sunday: ; VOL XGII SEVEN PARTS-PART ONE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, - ; 138 RAGES Cooyrloht 1971 nAllV Los Angeles Times UAIll IW ' C" J t) in Stocks Up 16,7 Points Details in Part 3, Page 21 LA. Apartment Fire Killing 24 Traced to Sofa BY JOHN KENDALL Times Stall Writer '. A 64-year-old downtown apartment house described as a "furnace with a chimney" exploded in flames Thursday night, killing 24 persons and injuring at least 52 others in the worst fire in Los Angeles history. The fire, believed to have started in a lobby sofa of the Stratford at 1735 W. 6th St., exploded up open stairwells of the mustard-colored wood frame stucco structure, and, in 5 to 10 minutes, burned through thin-paneled apartment doors. Residents heard what sounded like an explosion, felt the building shake, and looked out into hallways filled with smoke. . - Those trapped on the upper floors of the three-story, U-shaped building hurled mattresses from windows and leaped on them. Others simply leaped and died. Mothers threw their children to rescuers on the ground, then leaped themselves. Four men caught terri- Additional fire photos and stories, Part 1, Page 3. fied jumpers in a blanket. Elderly men and women climbed down fire escapes or were helped down swaying extension ladders by firemen. . . The injured lay with burns and broken bones, waiting to he taken to the hospital or for treatment by a doctor working at the scene. The dead were temporarily laid out and covered with sheets and yellow firemen's rain slickers in front of a bar on Burlington Ave., on one side of the apartment building. The fire was reported at 11:19 p.m. by Mrs. Susan Mons, a widow living across the street at 1734 W. 6th St. She had started to call her son when she saw flames leaping in the Stratford lobby. She said firemen were there within five minutes. "By the time they got here, people were hollering and screaming, the glass was popping and crackling. People were jumping and falling out . of the windows. Some of the people were dressed in their night clothes. Some just had bedspreads and sheets wrapped around them. They were barefooted. It was chaos if there ever was. "The firemen immediately put up ladders. Then, they carried in stretchers and brought out the corpses and laid the bodies on the sidewalk." Please Turn (o Pace A, Col. 4 FIRE TRAGEDY- -Upper-photo shows burned out roof of U-shaped Stratford Apartments on W. 6th St. Firemen administer- to; a; victim, below. Times photos by Larry-Sharkey and Boris Yaro ; Boy, 12, to Have Leg Amputated WASHINGTON (UH.) Edward M. Kennedy Jr., 12, the older son of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), has bone cancer in the right leg and will undergo amputation above the knee Saturday. ' The" senator's office said today the operation would ' be performed at Georgetown University' Medical Center in Washington. The boy was told about his affliction this morning, a family friend said. Both the senator and his wife have been at their son's bedside almost continuously since he was taken to the hospital Tuesday and malignancy was discovered in his ailing leg. His father cut short a European trip to be with him. Shortly after today's announcement was made, President Nixon called Georgetown Hospital and talked with both Sen. Kennedy and his son. The senator said through a spokesman that both he and Mrs. Kennedy were "deeply touched by the President's thoughtfulness." The President's message was not disclosed. The Kennedys have two other children. Kara, 13, and Patrick Joseph, 6. The operation will take place just five days before the Kennedy family and the nation observe the 10th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dal-las-H)ne of a long series of tragedies that have plagued the family. Young Edward Kennedy was only 2 at the time of. President Kennedy's assassination, but he was old enough, to mourn with the rest of the family in 196S the assassination of Jhis uncle, Robert F.' Kennedy. The latter's oldest daughter, Kathleen, 22, was scheduled to be married Saturday. Dick Drayne, Kennedy's press secretary, said the growth is in the lower right leg and in layman's terms can be described as bone cancer. Young' Kennedy's grandfather, Joseph, built a fortune on personal toughness in both business and politics, creating a competitive dynasty that has been scarred by tragedy in the last two generations. His oldest son. Joseph Kennedy Jr., was killed in World War II. One daughter, severely retarded, is living in a convent." Lady Kathleen Harrington, eldest of the Kennedy sisters, was killed in ' 1948 in the crash of a British airliner at Valence, France. Edward Kennedy seriously Injured his back in an airplane crash in 1964, and 'was 'reelected to the Senate from-a hospital .bed. In" 1969, his presidential, hopes were tarnished when a car driven by the senator plunged off a rude wooden bridge on-Chappaquiddick Island and a passenger; Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned in- the brackish waters of PouchaPond. The same problems have followed the Kennedy children. Patrick, President Kennedy's third child, died shortly after birth. Joseph Kennedy III, Robert's son, was driving a four-wheel drive vehicle that overturned this summer and a passenger was 'seriously injured.