On December 1, 1958, shortly before school was to be dismissed a fire started in a pile of trash in the school basement. It burned unnoticed for a lengthy period of time and grew in violence engulfing a wooden stairwell and shattering glass windows. It moved up and into a second floor hallway cutting off the escape of many of the occupants. 92 students and 3 nuns were killed by the smoke, heat or from jumping from the second floor of the school. 100 other individuals were injured. The subsequent investigation noted many flaws in the buildings fire protection system. There was only one fire escape, fire doors were found only on the first floor, combustible materials were found throughout the interior and the building was without smoke alarms and fire sprinkler systems.