Tiare Jones - Where is She Now?

January 31, 2024

On July 22, 1975 a fire swept through 129 Marlborough Street in Boston, trapping nineteen-year-old Diana Bryant and her two-year-old goddaughter Tiare Jones on their rusty apartment building’s fire escape. A firefighter named Robert O’Neill climbed onto the ladder to rescue them, but seconds before they could climb into his arms, the fire escape collapsed. Bryant fell to her death, but Tiare escaped with minor injuries because her fall was cushioned by her godmother’s body. Boston Herald photographer Stanley Forman snapped the iconic photograph.

Forman’s image, now known as Fire Escape Collapse, received the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography in 1976 and was named World Press Photo of the Year. The black and white monochrome photograph depicts a dramatic moment in which the fire escape on which nineteen-year-old Diana Bryant stands is collapsing as a turntable ladder from a fire truck extends toward it. The photograph’s iconic moment shows Bryant clutching O’Neil’s arm as they both look downward. The railing of the canted fire escape has already begun to separate, flower pots cascading over the edge of the canted platform, and O’Neil struggles with his turnout gear as he attempts to gain a better grip on the ladder.

Tiara Jones Hill passed away on December 27, 2022, of ovarian cancer. She was a loving wife to her husband Leontra and mother to their sons Justice and Roman. She is survived by her mother Josette Hartfield and father Joe Jones; sister, Tamara Martin; aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to be made to an educational fund for Justice and Roman.


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