This collection of items regarding the Lakeview School fire in Collinwood in 1908 is meant to honor the memory of those who died and to serve as an educational resource for those who are in need of information regarding this catastrophic event. This entire site is a work-in-progress, which means that information is added as it becomes available. All information presented as fact is annotated with source information. Newer information may negate previous notes. Major changes will be noted as much as possible.
If you are using this site as a source for a report or presentation, be sure to cite the original source of the information you are using and not collinwoodfire.com, as this site is simply a vessel for gathering information on this topic from many sources. Original sources, such as newspapers or books, should always be cited when using that material in any kind of documentation, such as a research paper, term paper, or book report.
There are many lessons to be learned from Collinwood, both good and bad, that have been put to use in later years to save lives. Unfortunately, events such as this are still happening – many times in nightclubs or places of large gatherings – where assured exits and safety are lax, resulting in needless mass casualties.
All tragic events contain a lesson, be it the need to change standard practices or change the threshold of what is considered acceptable. These events remain tragic only if we do not learn from them to ensure they never occur again. The children of Lakeview School changed the way the country builds its schools. That should be its legacy, even though it is impossible to discount the needless, enormous loss of life that cold March day in 1908.