ILLINOIS: Glare in the Sky

The echoing quiet of midnight had settled in the lighted corridors and the dim rooms and wards of St. Anthony's Hospital at Effingham, Ill. Outside, the town (pop. 8,000) and its surrounding farms slept. An operator-nun sat at the hospital switchboard, waiting for emergency calls. Out in the hall the elevator door banged open; a nun hurried from it to report that smoke was drifting in the hospital's upstairs corridors.

Almost as soon as the operator gave the alarm, the old building was full of heat and choking fumes. Flames crackled in stairwells and hallways even before the 20 newborn...

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