As East Haven Fire Chief Thomas J. Hayes was watching a ventriloquism show at the New Haven Arena, the ventriloquist announced that there was a message for Hayes: the Edgewater Beach Club was on fire. Hayes laughed as the ventriloquist repeated the message.
Finally a receptionist was sent to alert Hayes that the message was true and that he needed to join his men. The fire department, at a loss about how to locate Hayes in the audience, had asked the ventriloquist to deliver the message. Hayes, however, interpreted the message as a prank on him.
The unoccupied beach club burned to the ground. [Meriden Record
- Apr 2, 1963]