Iron Bars from the UpStairs Lounge
Black raised bars.jpg


UpStairs Lounge arson attack


Iron Bars


When grabbed, the iron bars will stick to the holder and burn them alive.




When someone grabs a bar.

Collected by

Warehouse 13 Agents


Dark Vault


Podium 24

Date of Collection

July 21, 1973


Origin[edit | edit source]

The UpStairs Lounge arson attack occurred on June 24, 1973 at a gay bar located on the second floor of the three-story building at 141 Chartres Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Thirty-two people were killed by the fire or by smoke inhalation. The most likely suspect was a man who had been thrown out of the bar earlier that day; he was never charged. It was the deadliest arson attack in New Orleans at that time, and one of the deadliest attacks on LGBT people in United States history.

Incident[edit | edit source]

On Sunday, June 24, 1973, the final day of Pride Weekend, a group of members of the Metropolitan Community Church, a pro-LGBT Protestant denomination, held services inside the club, located on the second floor of a three-story building at the corner of Chartres and Iberville Streets. The MCC was the nation’s first gay church, and had been founded in Los Angeles in 1969. After the service, the club hosted free beer and dinner for 125 patrons. At the time of the evening fire, some 60 people were listening to pianist David Gary's music and discussing an upcoming MCC fundraiser for the local Crippled Children’s Hospital.

At 7:56pm, a buzzer from downstairs sounded; bartender Buddy Rasmussen asked Luther Boggs to answer the door, anticipating a taxi cab driver. Boggs opened the door to find the front staircase engulfed in flames, along with the smell of lighter fluid. Rasmussen immediately led some thirty patrons out of the back exit to the roof, where the group could climb down from another building's roof to the ground floor. Some thirty others were left inside the second-floor club, and some attempted to squeeze through barred windows in order to escape. One man managed to squeeze through the 14-inch gap, only to fall to his death while burning. Reverend Bill Larson of the MCC clung to the bars of one window until he died, and his charred remains were visible to onlookers for hours afterwards. MCC assistant pastor George “Mitch” Mitchell managed to escape, but then returned to attempt to rescue his boyfriend, Louis Broussard; both died in the fire, their remains showing them clinging to each other.

At least 29 people died in the 16-minute fire, with three others (including Boggs) dying afterward from their wounds. Another 15 were injured.

Today[edit | edit source]

This artifact was grabbed a month after the attack. When it was heard that someone had visited the site and was burned, despite that there wasn't a fire, and burn marks showed they were holding something, Agents were sent to check it out. They checked the bar, especially the area on the second floor where the majority of the people had died. It wasn't until they tested the iron bars that were still attached to the window did they find their artifact. One Agent remembered that a man named Bill Larson had been burned to death when he tried to get out by squeezing through the bars, but got stuck, and his remains were still stuck afterwards, as they had to be left attached to the bars for quite some time. Luckily, with some tricky maneuvering, the Agents took the bars back to the Warehouse, and placed them in the Dark Vault.

Storage and Handling[edit | edit source]

Stored in the Dark Vault on a special podium designed to hold them upright and still.

Neutralizer gloves are mandatory, though they have little effect, as the Bars will burn any agent who touches them without gloves. To prevent being burned, agents are advised to use any safe artifact which has been tested and approved to handle the Bars, and store them in a special cooled neutralizer container.


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