Golden Age Nursing Home Fire
Located one mile north of Fitchville, the Golden Age Nursing Home caught fire and burned to the ground at 4:45 a.m., November 23, 1963, killing 63 of 84 patients. Fire departments from New London, Greenwich, North Fairfield, and Plymouth responded. Ignited by the arcing of overloaded wiring, the incident called for action to require sprinklers, automatic fire detection systems, and electrical wiring compliance to building codes in all nursing homes. The worst tragedy of its kind in the nation, the incident was overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and was not widely reported. Twenty-one unclaimed bodies were interred in a 60-foot grave in Woodlawn Cemetery in Norwalk. Those killed in the fire are listed on the reverse.
Killed in the Fire
Mary Baldo, Frank Bandeen, Leslie Benethun, Mary Berganski, Harry Berman, Mary Boyer, William Brockman, Robert Carey, Martha Carpenter, Pauline Charneky, Lonnie Clark, William Cox, Ouida Davis, Marie Defrank, Christine Demuth, John Doran, Agnes Driscol, Minnie Dwyer, Reuben Echelbarger, Ella Ehle, Samuel Factor, Josephine Gormek, John Hanon, Marguerite Hermes, Clara Hile, Clayton Hires, Ruby Hohlfelder, Lucy Holmes, George Jenhaus, Emma Johnson, Louise Kehrers, John Kerchner, Leo Krueger, John Kuczinski, Logan
Lamb, Maude Lehman, Katie Lepis, John Linder, Anna Lothi, Lena Lynn, Margaret MacDonald, Margaret McNary, Mamie Malloy, Tony Marlette, Walter Meilander, Henry Parnell, Andrew Pavulus, Maude Reid, Sam Rood, James Rook, Louis Rosenberg, Gottlieb Schulke, Charles Shamek, Luby Smoley, August Solli, Charles Steirert, Upson Todd, Angelina Traut, Metta Tretchel, Mrs. Underwood, Grace Waters, Charlotte Whelen, and John White