Camden, NJ Armory Fire, Mar 1906

Camden NJ Firemen who perished.jpg

DIE FIGHTING FIRE.

THREE CRUSHED TO DEATH UNDER FALLING ARMORY ROOF.

NINE SERIOUSLY INJURED.

WARNING OF DANGER CAME TOO LATE FOR THEM TO ESCAPE.

BLAZE AT CAMDEN, N.J. THOUGH THE PROPERTY LOSS WAS INSIGNIFICANT, ATTENDED BY SERIOUS CASUALTIES -- FIREMEN HAD FLAMES WELL UNDER CONTROL WHEN THE ROOF CRASHED IN -- SURVIVORS ESCAPED BY FOLLOWING LINE OF HOSE.

Camden, N.J., March 16 -- Three firemen were killed and nine others seriously inured tonight at a fire, which destroyed the old Sixth Regiment Armory, at Bridge and West Streets, in this city.
The dead are:
GEORGE W. SHIELDS.
WILLIAM HILLMAN.
WILLIAM JOBES.
The injured:
CHARLES WORTHINGTON, internally injured, probably fatally.
SETH MONELL, scalp wounds.
WILLIAM SIMPSON, lacerations of face and scalp.
WILLIAM ELBERSON, injured back.
JOSIAH SAGE, cut head and face.
JAMES ELBERSON, contusions of legs.
HARRY DEASE, cut on face.
MARTIN CORRIGAN, lacerated face and hands.
GEORGE QULEN, cut face.
The fire started in the boiler room of the armory building, and quickly spread to all parts of the structure. About a dozen firemen were ordered into the burning building with a line of hose, and were making good progress n fighting the flames when they were warned by Fireman HARRY DEASE that the roof was giving way.
Before the men could heed the warning the great expanse of roof fell, burying DEASE and the others under it. SHIELDS, HILLMAN and JOBES were crushed to death, but the others managed to follow the line of hose and escaped, after most of them had been seriously lacerated and burned.
The inured were removed to Cooper Hospital.
A general alarm was sounded, and after a great effort the flames were confined to the armory, which was entirely destroyed. About twenty houses surrounding the armory were scorched.
It was at first thought that SHIELDS and HILLMAN were the only firemen killed, but in searching for their bodies the rescuers found the remains of JOBES. Up to that time he had not been missed. WORTHINGTON, who is believed to be fatally injured, was hurt while going to the fire. The apparatus on which he was riding crashed into an electric light pole and he was caught between them.
The building was aandoned years ago by the Sixth Regiment, and had since been occupied by various firms. Recently the structure was purchased by the West Jersey and Seashore Railroad Company, which intended tearing it down to make way for improvements along its seashore line, and the tenants of the building were moving out when the fire was discovered.

Washington Post District of Columbia 1906-03-17