Arsonist who killed 87 in NYC club fire dies in prison

Julio Gonzalez, 61, was taken to the hospital after suffering what appeared to be a heart attack


The Associated Press

NEW YORK — The man who started the fire that killed 87 people at a New York City nightclub 26 years ago has died at an upstate prison.

The Daily News reports a state corrections spokesman says 61-year-old Julio Gonzalez died Tuesday at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh. Gonzalez had been serving a 25-years-to-life sentence in the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility in nearby Dannemora.

In this 1990 file photo, news crews report on an arson fire at the Happy Land social club in which 87 people perished, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo)
In this 1990 file photo, news crews report on an arson fire at the Happy Land social club in which 87 people perished, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo)

Authorities say Gonzalez was taken to the hospital after suffering what appeared to be a heart attack. An autopsy will be conducted Wednesday.

Gonzalez set fire to the illegally operated Happy Land social club in the Bronx in March 1990 after getting into an argument with his former girlfriend and being thrown out of the club.

Only six people inside the two-story club escaped, including his ex-girlfriend.

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2020 firerescue1.com. All rights reserved.