THE classic art deco Grand Hotel at Goomeri in Queensland was re-built in 1943 after the original pub was destroyed in a tragic fire that killed the publican and his wife, a barmaid, and five guests on December 23 1939.
Goomeri Village is located in the wine region of the South Burnett, at the junction of the Wide Bay Highway from the coast and Gympie and the Burnett Highway, between Brisbane and Gladstone. The 1939 fire claimed the lives of:
1. John William Parker, 40, licensee, who escaped from the building but died later from burns and shock.
2. Eva Isabel Parker, 40, his wife.
3. Gladys Edwards, 24, who was staying at the hotel overnight.
4. Pearl Frahm, 25, barmaid.
5. Bridget Eileen Eisentrager, 30, clerk.
6. Allen Gordon Carter, 35 who arrived from the West on the previous Friday.
7. Thomas Robert Rixon, 23, of Grafton, timber-getter.
8. George Eddie, 26, of Boonabah, farm labourer.
Pictures (Clockwise from top left): GLADYS EDWARDS, who perished in the Goomeri hotel fire. She threw her 7-months-old baby from the balcony to a spectator, and went back into the building to rescue a friend. She was not seen again. MR. A. VOYCE escaped from the blazing hotel by jumping from the roof of the laundry. He was slightly injured in the fall. MRS. J. CHESHIRE escaped from her room on the ground floor. Her sister and barmaid, Pearl Frahm, was burned to death. PEARL FRAHM, the Grand’s barmaid, who also died in the flames. The smouldering ruins of the Grand Hotel after the fire. Pictures: Courier Mail December 26 1939.
Eight years later, the Boonara Hotel, which was located opposite the Grand Hotel, was also totally destroyed by fire in 1947. No one was hurt or killed in that blaze. Unlike the Grand Hotel, the Boonara was never rebuilt. It can be seen in the background of the smouldering Grand Hotel in the 1939 photo below.
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Categories: Queensland hotels
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