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Fire on Marlborough Street , 1975

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm

On July 22, 1975, photograph Stanley J. Forman was working for the Boston Herald American newspaper when a police scanner picked up an emergency: “Fire on Marlborough Street!” Forman followed firemen and covered the accident. Everything was fine says Forman. I was just shooting a routine rescue. Switching lenses, switching cameras. A ladder rises slowly toward the fire escape. The firefighter reaches out to grab the ladder… All of a sudden, boom! It just crashes. As Forman watches, the fire escape rips away from the building. The woman is falling, the child is falling, metal is flying… The picture depicts a young woman, Diana Bryant, and a 3-year old girl, Tiare Jones when they fell from the building helplessly. Diana Bryant was pronounced dead at the scene. The young girl miraculously survived. Despite a heroic effort, the fireman who tried to grab them had been just seconds away from saving the lives of both.

Photo coverage from the tragic event garnered Stanley Forman a World Press Prize in 1975 and the Pulitzer Prize in 1976. But more important, his work paved the way for Boston and other states to mandate tougher fire safety codes.

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