On the Saturday night after Thanksgiving, 1942, almost a thousand people were at the Cocoanut Grove club in downtown Boston, when a fire broke out in the club's downstairs "Melody Lounge."
In less than 15 minutes, the blaze killed almost 500 people and left hundreds more gravely injured.
Writer Charles Kenney has grown up hearing a lot about the Grove tragedy. He comes from three generations of Boston firefighters; his grandfather "Pops" was the first. Pops rescued people from the Cocoanut Grove, but the fumes he inhaled that night left him permanently disabled.
The fire haunted Charles Kenney's grandfather. It also haunted his father, "Sonny," himself a Boston firefighter disabled in the line of duty. Sonny later spent years researching the Grove fire.
Charles Kenney's new book "Rescue Men" reveals Sonny's discovery and delves into why three generation of Kenney men became firefighters.
This program aired on April 12, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.