Join us for a discussion of the Roger Blough, the ship built in the Lorain Shipyards, and the 50th Anniversary of the infamous fire. Co-presenters for the program are retired Lorain Fire Fighter Andy Drwal and Lorain Historical Society Curator Kaitlyn Donaldson.
On the morning of June 24, 1971, a week before the official scheduled launch date, the Roger Blough sustained a serious engine room fire. It is believed that roughly 300 men were working on the ship at the time the fire broke out. Through the chaos that ensued, most of the men were able to escape except for four men who tragically lost their lives. To battle the blaze, over 90 firemen from Lorain, Sheffield, Cleveland, and Shaker Heights landed on scene to help fight the blaze and help the crew escape from the burning ship.
This program will explore the known details and speculation about the cause of the fire as well as Andy Drwal’s experience as one of the first responders to the 1971 fire. Andy retired from the Lorain Fire Department in 2001 after 30 years of service. He also served as the Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighter District Vice President from 1984-2004.