Ohio Penitentiary Fire photograph   Save
Ohio Penitentiary Fire photograph
Description: Photograph taken during the Ohio Penitentiary Fire, April 21, 1930. In the photograph smoke is pouring from the building's windows, and a group of men (some in striped clothing) stand behind fire equipment. The fire killed 322 inmates, some of whom were stuck in their cells, and injured another 130. It was the worst disaster in American prison history. The prison, which was built in 1834, was notorious for having horrible conditions. At the time of the fire, the prison was at over twice its capacity. The origins of the fire have been debated, with some citing prisoners and others claiming an accident. Regardless of the origin, the fire prompted officials to address the overcrowding and establish the Ohio Parole Board in 1931. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: AL05667
Subjects: Ohio History--State and Local Government--Corrections; Fires; Ohio Penitentiary (Columbus, Ohio); Prisons--Ohio
Places: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)