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Happy Land Fire

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Happy Land Fire

A blaze at a illegal club leads to the arrest of ejected patron; who is a

suspect in setting New York's worst fire since the 1911 fire at the Triangle

Shirtwaist company.

In the early morning of Sunday March 25th 1990 in the Bronx a

devastating arson fire occurred at the Happy Land social club. A man named

Julio Gonzalez entered the happy Land social club located at 1959 southern

Boulevard in the Bronx , New York. At witch time Mr. Gonzalez was one of

estimated ninety patrons at this social club. After arguing with his EX-girl

friend who worked at the illegal social club and having a few adult drinks

he was ejected from the club bye the door men.

When he was ejected he stated that he will return! Know body took his

statement serious and business continued at the club. Mr. Gonzalez gathered

A one gallon plastic container before leaving the social club. At this time Mr.

Gonzalez walked to a near by gas station and filled the one gallon container

with gas. Then he traveled back to the Happy Land social club where he then

re-entered the club with the gasoline, poured it on to the floor and ignited it

with a few matches. Mr. Gonzalez quietly left the club and went to his

apartment a few blocks away.

Page 2 of 4
Ruben Valladarez A disc jockey for the Happy Land social club was

in the rear of the club on the second floor; playing music when somebody

yelled fire "I tuned on the lights and said in to the microphone that I got a fire

; everybody out". Mr. Valladarez descended a narrow flight of stairs and found

the first floor bar filled with flames. People were trying to get out of a door

but i...

... middle of paper ...

... I don't think this would have made a difference. Another factor was that the ceiling was lower then required by
code. With this and no windows it filled the area with smoke quicker ; given a less chance to get out.

This establishment was closed several times by the police, fire and building departments but reopened after they new that nobody else was going two come around for another check up to make sure it was still not operating.

In A final thought if the government agencies would have followed up on what there supposed to do ; this might of saved some lives. They also should not take all the blame for this though. If the landlord was having such a problem with tenant. He should of contacted the proper authorities and had him removed or correct the fire hazards. Unfortunately it takes thing like this two happen before laws are enforced or corrected.

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