Thirty year old Joseph Leibert (b. 1870), a painting
contractor working at Northwestern on the third floor,
and another painting contractor,
Charles Cubbon, helped put out scaffolding
planks from a window in Northwestern's dental
department across Couch Place alley to the fire
escape landing at the third floor balcony of the
Iroquois. Flames leaping up from windows below
prevented people from descending on the stairs.
Thirty five to fifty people made it across the alley
on the planks but most were severely burned and died
later. The fire department also used the planks to
remove the dead before determining there was no one
left alive on the third floor.