Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fire on Marlborough Street

On July 22, 1975, photograph Stanley J. Forman working for the Boston Herald American newspaper when a police scanner picked up an emergency: “Fire on Marlborough Street!”
Climbed on a the fire truck, Forman shot the picture of a young woman, Diana Bryant, and a very young girl, Tiare Jones when they fell helplessly. Diana Bryant was pronounced dead at the scene. The young girl lived. 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 Pulitzer Prize. But more important, his work paved the way for Boston and other states to mandate tougher fire safety codes.


  1. I believe that this fire was an arson set by a greedy landlord. This picture has haunted me since I was 18 and saw it in 1975. Diana was only 1 year older then me. Diana's last few seconds of life were probably full of fear. I hope she never felt the impact. Next week is the 38th anniversary of this tragic event. Is the building still there?
    If anyone knows for sure how the fire was set please let me know. Duncan

  2. I was living in that building and was home when that fire began. "Bam bam" I heard in heard in quick succession. I walked to the window thinking the bams were weather related. The window gave a view of the alley between Malborough and Beacon Streets. The sky indicated no weather issue but I did see this man walking by looking up at the building. The man was an associate of the owner . So I opened the door to our first floor studio and found the place full of smoke. When the fire escape collapsed the baby sitter fell to her death the child landed atop the baby sitter which saved it's life. I don't believe the arson was ever proved.