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Fort Drum commemorates fatal barracks fire

Aug. 26, 2013 - 11:04AM   |  
A rear and side view of the barracks after the fire.
A rear and side view of the barracks after the fire. (Army)
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FORT DRUM, N.Y. — A ceremony is planned at Fort Drum to recognize the site of a 1947 barracks fire that killed five soldiers during a winter training exercise.

A commemorative plaque will be placed during Tuesday’s ceremony at the site of the fire on the northern New York post.

The fire spurred a series of lawsuits that led to the Feres Doctrine, which holds that the government isn’t liable for injuries or deaths related to military service even in cases of negligence.

The doctrine is named after 1st Lt. Rudolph Feres, one of the soldiers who died in the fire. His wife’s lawsuit claimed the two-story barracks was unsafe and the fire watch inadequate.

The court ruling against her set a legal precedent that remains intact.

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