The Upstairs Lounge Fire


National Gay Leaders Speak Out

[picture caption] Gay Liberation movement leaders  Rev. Troy Perry, left, and Morris Kight, both of Los Angeles, Calif., announced  a day of mourning for the 29 persons who died in a fire Sunday in the French Quarter bar (background, center) behind them. The news conference, held on a hotel sun deck overlooking the scene, also prompted a request from Kight, of the L.A. Gay Community Service Center, for blood donations for the dozen or more survivors. Perry said a memorial chapel is planned for the victims.

Fire Probe Is Said Not Conclusive.

Crime lab investigators have completed probing evidence taken from the French Quarter bar in which 29 persons died, but a spokesman Wednesday termed the evidence “inconclusive.”

A secret report on the fire will be sent to the Fire Protection Division and the State Fire Marshal later in the day, the spokesman added.

He said the report would not be made public.

“But we are not sufficiently convinced—strictly from our findings here—that this is arson, “said Sgt. Frank Hayward, police information officer.

He stressed that a police investigation is continuing, based upon the assumption that arsonists set the fire Sunday night in the Up Stairs Lounge, just around the corner from the 42-story Marriott.

Fire Supt. William J. McCrossen said, “We are definitely investigating the strong possibility of arson, but no one can say at this point that it was arson.”

Timothy A. Driscoll, assistant state fire marshal, said he   Continued on page 6-A, Col. 4

Report of news conference by the Rev. Troy Perry of national MCC and Morris Kight from the LA Gay Community Services Center, who come to New Orleans to provide support for victims, families and friends.

Source: The State-Times (Advocate), June 27, 1973.

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