Fire and Ice, a Saint Vincent Archabbey Publications production commemorating the 50th anniversary of the destructive Saint Vincent fire of January 28, 1963, is now available on DVD. The DVD offers 1 hour, 11 minutes of content highlighted by a 15 minute documentary featuring photographs and rolling film from that fateful day narrated by David Safin. Other features of the DVD include introductions by Br. Norman Hipps, O.S.B. and Jerome Oetgen, complete and unedited fire film footage, and coverage of the fire anniversary event. The video along with the 2013 book detailing the Saint Vincent fire are available for purchase online from Saint Vincent Archabbey Publications at www.stvincentstore.com.
Collaboration between historian Jerome Oetgen and his brother, Al, of NBC News, Kim Metzgar and Jordan Hainsey of Archabbey Public Relations, the sound and film expertise of David Safin, and voicework by Fr. Wulfstan Clough, O.S.B., Dr. Christopher McMahon, and Jeff Zidek brought Fire and Ice to fruition. Recently, Fire and Ice was awarded a bronze Telly Award, a national competition that honors excellence in film and video productions.
January 28 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Saint Vincent Fire. For reasons unknown, fire broke out in the college biology lab, quickly spreading throughout the former quadrangle. Near-record low temperatures were recorded as 30 local fire departments descended on the campus that day. A deluge of water was dumped on the affected buildings, coating their surroundings and firefighters in a thick layer of ice. Following $3 million of damage and the loss of priceless science collections, Saint Vincent would never be the same, but it rose to the challenge, following the words of founder Boniface Wimmer: “forward, always forward, everywhere forward.”
—By Alex Locke