The 1976 Wincrest Nursing Home fire took place on Friday, January 30, 1976 in Chicago, USA. The fire occurred when an arsonist set a wardrobe closet on fire at the Wincrest Nursing Home building, located at 6326 N. Winthrop Avenue. The alarm sounded at 11:30 a.m. and the fire was put out at 1:30 p.m. Although the building itself sustained minor smoke, fire and water damage, 23 people died from smoke inhalation. A 21 year old housekeeper was arrested by authorities and was charged with multiple counts of arson.
The fire was described as the worst of its kind in Chicago's history, and caused the Board of Health to enact changes.
In its design plan, the building complex consisted of 28 rooms, which could accommodate 88 residents. The original brick building was demolished in 1966 as part of a three stage construction project and was replaced by a three story building and a garden. The complex was finally completed in 1973.
The original nursing home complex was a 1,906 sq ft (177 m²) brick building consisting of two floors. In 1959, a second building was added to the rear which includes a garden. The addition increased the size of the complex to 5,179 sq ft (481 m²). The addition was