Talk:Pioneer Hotel (Tucson, Arizona)

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The date Dec. 20, 1970, is burned into Tucson's collective psyche - literally.

That was the day the Pioneer Hotel, long a downtown skyscraper and landmark, was destroyed by an arson-caused fire, claiming the lives of 28 victims. A 29th individual died, months later, of injuries sustained in the fire.

The fire, which caused the largest single loss of life in the city's history, drew national attention and prompted outrage on the part of some because of allegations that the Fire Department was underequipped and unable to reach the top of the 11-story building at North Stone Avenue and Pennington Street.

Some of the victims perished in the flames or from smoke inhalation in their rooms, while others, desperate to escape the fire's intensity, leapt to their deaths from the windows.

Following the fire, police arrested Louis Cuen Taylor, a 16-year-old who had been arrested several times previously for minor juvenile offenses, and he subsequently was charged with arson and murder. Convicted in 1972, he was sentenced to life in prison.

Taylor insisted he was at the Pioneer to steal food and drinks from a Hughes Aircraft Co. Christmas party. Witnesses testified that he helped people escape the flames.

Three small fires, believed to be arson, were reported by resident hotel manager C.E. Goyette two months prior to the December conflagration. It isn't known whether the incidents are connected.

Among victims of the fire were owners of the hotel, Harold and Margaret Steinfeld. Steinfeld and his father, Albert, a prominent Tucson merchant, built the hotel - completed Dec. 12, 1929 - at a cost of about $1 million.

Thirty-three firefighters, among 203 battling the blaze, suffered injuries.

In 2002, a coalition of groups and individuals petitioned to have authorities reopen the Louis Taylor case, claiming the evidence against him was flimsy and that inadequate investigation was made of the three previously reported fires.

Despite those efforts, however, Taylor remains in prison.[1]

Pioneer Hotel Fire Victims Listed TUCSON (AP) - Here is a list of names of those who died in the Pioneer International Hotel fire, as reported by police. The fire claimed 28 lives. 1.HAROLD STEINFELD, 82, Tucson. 2.MRS. HAROLD (PEGGY) STEINFELD. 3.ABE SIMON, Tucson. 4.JOSEPH REBBE, Chicago. 5.MRS. JOSEPH REBBE. 6.HARVEY MALLERY, Tucson. 7.PAUL D'HEDOUVILLE, Washington, D.C. 8.D. P. SMELSER, Tucson. 9.MRS. ELLA GORDON, Tucson. 10.MRS. ELLI BELL GLOVER, Tucson. 11.MRS. ESTELLE KAUFMAN, Chicago. 12.MRS. VELMA DALE, Englewood, Colo. 13.MRS. BERNICE BOND - sister of MRS. DALE. 14.ROBERTO SOTO, 14, Hermosillo, Mex., grandson of former Sonora, Mex., Gov. Ignacio Soto. 15.IGNACIO SOTO, 10, brother of ROBERTO. 16.DR. JOSE JESUS ANTILLON, Hermosillo. 17.MRS. JOSE (IGNACIA) ANTILLON, wife of doctor. 18.NAVIER ANTILLON, 9, son. 19.MARTIN ANTILLON, 18, son. 20.CATALINA ANTILLON, 8, daughter. 21.MISS CARMALETA LUKEN, 19, Hermosillo. 22.MRS. FRANCISCO (ROSALIA) LUKEN, mother. 23.ROSA LUKEN. 24.FRANCISCO LUKEN. 25.ANTONIO LUKEN. 26.JESUS LUKEN. 27.JEROME T. WRIGHT, Tucson. 28.MRS. BETTY ROGERS, Springfield, Ill.

The Yuma Daily Sun Arizona 1970-12-21

Additional Material Removed[edit]

Removed the following from the main article as it is expressly opinion and speculation rather than factual content: The Tucson community hopes the current owners will restore the exterior of the building to its original design including reconstruction of the street level cast stone. The building could once again be the historic center of downtown Tucson. --Jadewik (talk) 21:58, 23 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Allen, Paul L. (August 2006). "Pioneer Fire Burned Into City's Collective Psyche". Tucson Citizen. Retrieved 2009-12-22.


How'd my unfinished sandbox article end up as a page? I like the additions, but the whole reason it wasn't posted was because it was unfinished and not long enough to meet wikipedia length guidelines! --Jadewik (talk) 21:19, 23 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]