CMU School of Drama

Friday, July 07, 2017

#TBT From The NFPA Archives: Hartford Circus Fire

NFPA Xchange: The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows, billed as "The Greatest Show on Earth," arrived in Hartford, CT on July 5, 1944, a day before the fire. The oval-shaped circus tent, made of canvas, was approximately 425 ft. x 180 ft. and covered an area of 74,000 square feet. The tent had a seating capacity of 9,048 people: 6,048 in the reserved grandstand seats and 3,000 in the general admission bleacher seats. Attendance on the afternoon of the fire was just under 6,800. The circus had over 1,000 employees, but it's unclear how many of them were inside the tent when it caught fire.

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