Over 200 persons were badly injured and 60 lost their lives when the Hotel LaSalle burned during the early morning hours of June 5, 1947. Ten of those who were killed leaped to their deaths from the windows.
Just before the fire broke out a Chicago businessman telephoned his wife from one of the hotel rooms and told her he was playing bridge with some friends. She pleaded with him to come home right away, and he assured her that as soon as he had completed just another hand of cards he would be on his way. But in the few minutes it took to finish that hand of bridge the fire broke out, and they dragged his charred body from the ruins the next day. All that stood between him and life was that one hand of cards.