Indianapolis, IN Fatal Bowen-Merrill Co Fire, Mar 1890

Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Men On a Burning Roof

Which Suddenly Fell Into the Seething Fire.

BURYING OVER TWENTY PERSONS

Nine Dead Bodies Already Recovered While Others Are Still Buried in the Debris - Names of the Killed and Injured So Far as Ascertained.

INDIANAPOLIS, March 18. - Yesterday afternoon fire from the furnace in the basement in the large book publishing establishment of the Bowen-Merrill company reached some paper, and in one instant the flames were carried by the elevator shaft to the fourth story. The building, a fine stone and iron structure, fronting on Washington street, was stored with books and stationary of all kinds. This large stock was consumed and the building wrecked. At 5:30 o'™clock this loss of more than $150,000, on building and stock, was followed by the falling in of the roof, which carried down more than twenty persons, including those who were working on the various floors.

The fire at this hour had been driven to a corner between the ceiling of the fourth story and the cornice. Part of the fire companies were on the roof working their way down to the fire. The roof seemed sound and the walls substantial, but suddenly the walls yielded. A man threw up his arms and sank into the seething ruins below. Another man dropped, and then the whole rear roof with fifteen men on it fell on the top floor where the fire was raging. Four men were on the top floor under the roof.

These were crushed beneath the grinding timbers, and all the men hurled through the falling floor beneath, which gave way beneath the weight of the mass.

One of the firemen on the top of the anjoining [sic] building ran to the front of the building and shouted to those below: "For God's sake throw water onto the upper windows. Twenty men are buried there."

The following is a list of the killed and wounded as it is possible to secure at this hour:
The killed are:
GEORGE GLENN, of No. 10
ULYSSES GLAZER, substitute fireman.
ALBERT HOFFMAN, pipeman.
ANDREW CHERRY, fireman.
RICHARD LOWRY, fireman
THOMAS BLACK, fireman.
ESPY STORMER, fireman.
JOHN BURKHOULT, fireman.
WILLIAM HINSLEY, fireman.
CHARLES JENKINS, pipeman.
LEW RAFERT, fireman.
THOMAS BARRETT, fireman.
A.C. MERCER, captain fire department,
SAMUEL W. NEAL, pipeman
THOMAS A. BLACK, pipeman
WEBB ROBINSON, pipeman.
WILLIAM PARTEE, pipeman; internally hurt, may die.
HENRY WOODRUFF, pipeman; badly hurt.
EBENEZER LEECH, pipeman; cut and bruised.
TOM TALENTYRE, fireman, engine No. 2, fatally crushed.
WILLIAM LONG, pipeman, slightly hurt.
CHARLES JENKINS, pipeman, badly bruised.
WILLIAM HEINSLEY, pipeman, badly hurt.
JOHN BURKHART, pipeman, badly hurt about head.
DICK LOWRIE, pipeman, is still under the ruins, as is also WALTER JONES, and it is supposed that both are dead.

The Bowen, Merrill & Company's loss is $125,000; insurance $70,000. Loss on building $30,000. H. P. Wasson, dry goods, suffered a loss of $10,000 by smoke and water, and Byram & Sullivan, dry goods, half that amount. Several smaller stocks are badly damaged.

Newark Daily Advocate, Newark, OH 18 Mar 1890

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