The Noronic Fire: a Toronto Disaster

Working the midnight shift, Constables Ronald Anderson and Warren Shaddock turned their police accident automobile onto Toronto’s Queens Quay on September 17, 1949, in time to see the SS Noronic, a single of the most impressive and stunning passenger ships in Canada, erupt into sky-splitting flames from bow to stern.

The very first rescuers on the scene, their cruiser was right away surrounded by survivors, some with their clothes on fire. Several far more have been in the water. Far also many have been on the ship, burning on the decks.

Anderson took off his uniform and dove into the water, which was thick with oil and quite cold. He swam to the injured and the dead, pulling them onto a raft and over to the dock. Policemen with ropes would then hoist them up to the dock where Shaddock and others were administering very first aid.

Quickly, Detective Cyril Cole joined Anderson in the water, with both retrieving bodies and survivors. Later, fireboats arrived to assist. Cole’s partner, Detective Roy Soplet, was also on the scene. Numerous of the responding officers had been Globe War II Veterans.

“After you have knowledgeable explosions, shell fire and the horror of war, you can manage bodies and injury better. The Police Force was created up of many WWII combat vets who had been particularly recruited for their capacity to deal with this sort of pressure,” says Anderson, now 86.

The blaze started at approximately two:30am, in full force only minutes later. Soon the hull glowed white from the heat and the decks buckled. So a lot water was poured on The Noronic, she listed, forcing firefighters to retreat until the ship was upright once again.

“Toronto didn’t have the ambulance service we have now,” says Anderson. “Cab drivers deserve a lot of credit. Dozens of cab drivers came down from the Royal York and the King Edward Hotel to help. They didn’t charge fares, they just ran the injured to Toronto General, St. Michael’s, and Toronto Western Hospitals. When the hospitals had been overwhelmed, victims had been taken to the Royal York and the King Eddie exactly where doctors and hotel employees assisted the injured and those in shock.”

Media had been at the Press Club Awards Dinner which was being held at the Royal York Hotel. They rushed to the scene of the disaster, drawn out by a horn sounding from the ship. The horn was so loud, it could be heard throughout Toronto and made it difficult for rescuers to communicate with every other.

Anderson retrieved his uniform and discovered that his wallet had been stolen. He in no way got the cash back, but he did get the wallet when it was discovered on a suspect that Detective Jim Mackie, a future Chief of Toronto Police, had arrested.

Identifying the bodies was difficult simply because of how badly burned they had been. The ship’s manifest difficult the approach as nicely since it reflected a range of aliases, men who had told their wives they had been hunting or fishing, but who have been really traveling with female companions. All of the fatalities have been American.

With some of the victims lowered to little more than ash and jewelry, it took practically a year to ID them. Healthcare examiners from different parts of the US and Canada came in to aid. A lot of of the bodies have been identified via dental records, the very first time this procedure was utilised.

The disaster was extensively believed to have been caused by a cigarette, although it was never officially ruled so. A assortment of design, building and upkeep concerns have been believed to have contributed to the Noronic fire, such as oiled wood, several coats of paint and non-working on board fire hoses.

The crew was criticized for not calling the fire department and for not waking passengers. Some fled at the 1st alarm, leaving sleeping passengers behind. The Captain, William Taylor, did participate in rescue efforts but had his license suspended for a year, following the Royal Commissions investigation, and never ever captained a vessel once more.

Luxury passenger travel on the Fantastic Lakes virtually stopped overnight following the Noronic disaster.

Sixty years on, no other Toronto disaster has exceeded the quantity of lives lost, 119, as the fire on the SS Noronic.
Police Physique Cam Officer Involved Fatal Shooting Yavapai County Sheriff’s Workplace

This is the body camera video from the Officer Involved Shooting in Chino Valley on July 21, 2017. The camera was worn by a YCSO deputy. Please take time to assessment the introduction section which provides context to the incident.
The investigation by the Department of Public Security is ongoing. The Sheriff’s Office and Chino Valley Police Division would like to acknowledge and thank the community assistance for these officers.

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