- Your Voice
Pioneer Hotel burned in 1970, 29 died
courtesy photo, Smoke obscured the view of the Hotel Pioneer in downtown Tucson. Fire destroyed the building on the night of Dec. 19, 1970. A firefighter who helped battle the blaze has produced a documentary film to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the event.
photo by Fred Bear Sr., Half of the sign on the Hotel Pioneer shut down the night of Dec. 19, 1970 when 28 people died in a fire that raged through the downtown building. A documentary film commemorating the event is titled “Hot Pion,” named for the neon sign atop the hotel.