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Seven ballet dancers burned to death in their dressing room at the Continental Theater in Philadelphia

Fire at the Ballet, Continental Theater, Philadelphia, September 14, 1861, detail
09/14/1861
The Continental Theater in Philadelphia was producing Shakespeare's Tempest in ballet form with a large corps of dancers.  Just before a performance, as the women were dressing, the costume of one caught fire from a gas lamp.  Others ran to help her and their dresses caught as well.  Quickly, many in the dressing-room were ablaze.  Seven women dancers died from their burns and others suffered serious injuries.  (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
Chronicle, The Annual Register or a View of the History and Politics of the Year 1861 (London: F. & J. Rivington, 1862), p. 184-185.
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, September 28, 1861, p. 312-313.

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