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The President Hotel
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Long Beach, New York

The President Hotel
The President Hotel occupied the SW corner of Broadway and Laurelton Blvd and filled the lot to the boardwalk.  While I could not find the exact year it opened, most likely it began welcoming guests in the late 1920's, definitely by the early 30's.

The President stood 7 stories tall, with an entrance directly on the boardwalk.  Like it's next door neighbor on the east side of Laurelton, The Ocean Crest, the President was gearing up to cater to families in post depression Long Beach.  Apartments could be rented by the week, month, season or yearly. 

On Tuesday afternoon, August 31, 1965, at the end of the summer season and just before the big Labor Day weekend, the Long Beach fire horns blew out the code 4-3-6-2, General Alarm of Fire, Broadway corner of Laurelton, the President Hotel was burning.  Occupied at the time by mostly elderly residents, rescue and evacuation was extremely challenging.  With fire department manpower focused on getting everyone out alive the fire gained great headway very quickly.  One life was ultimately lost and there were numerous injuries.  If not for the remarkable efforts of Long Beach firefighters, assisted by mutual aid companies from many surrounding departments, the life loss would have been much higher.  Over 80 persons were rescued over aerial ladders alone.

Once again we thank various sources for these photographs, including The Daily News archives, Dr Kenneth Tydings, the Long Beach Library, the Long Beach Historical Society, LongIslandFireTrucks.com and various open source collections including our own. Thank you.
The President Hotel in Long Beach NY, as it appeared about 1930.
The President Hotel (left) and the Ocean Crest (today named the Hoffman Manor)
Click the images below to expand
Early 60's
50 years later, in 2015, the lot the President once stood on still remains vacant on the corner of Laurelton and Broadway.  The fire department frequently trains at the vacant space, drawing water from the same hydrants that supplied the water at the great blaze in 1965.
The following article, left large so you can read it, was printed in an early 1970's Fire Department Officer Training Manual at the Nassau County Fire Training Academy in Bethpage.  It describes the command structure, strategy and logistics employed by the Long Beach Chiefs in managing this large incident. The effective use of the command structure was recognized as a contributing factor in the very low loss of life (one fatality) when faced with a large, fast moving fire in a structure fully occupied by hundreds of elderly victims who needed immediate evacuation or rescue.  The model was used as an example of effective tactics when training Nassau County firefighters for years to come.