New York, NY Hill's Paper Warehouse Fire, Jan 1907
THREE FIREMEN ARE KILLED BY FALL OF FLOOR.
MEN BURIED IN RUINS OF NEW YORK BUILDING.
TWO CHIEFS ARE INJURED.
CAPTAIN OF ENGINE COMPANY IS AMONG THOSE HURT.
"ALL OUT" COMES TOO LATE.
COMRADES DIG INTO HOT DEBRIS IN FRANTIC ENDEAVOR TO RECOVER THE BODIES OF THEIR FELLOWS.
New York, Jan. 6. -- Three firemen were killed during a fire that burned out the interior of Hills Paper warehouse in Roosevelt Street tonight.
Just before the third floor of the five-story structure fell, all the men were ordered out of the building. Firemen DANIEL J. CAMPBELL, JOHN J. C. SIEFERT and THOMAS LENNON, who had been working within the walls, failed to respond and a subsequent roll call established that they are beyond doubt buried in the ruins. Seven other firemen were injured.
The monetary loss was about $15,000.
The fire was under control when the third floor collapsed, pulling down with it the floors above. At first it was believed that all the firemen had escaped, but later Battalion Chief DUFFY was found badly injured. He reported that he believed others had been left behind in the building.
CAMPBELL, SEIFERT and LENNON had been at work with DUFFY on the fourth floor and a hurried roll call developed that three members of Engine No. 32 were missing. It was learned that they had been on the fourth floor and had started to get out of the building by way of the fire escapes with DUFFY, but later turned back and started down an interior staircase leading into an adjoining building through open windows in a back light shaft.
DUFFY said he heard somebody talking in the big smoke-blackened room and walked back a few feet and called aloud, receiving what he thought was an answer. He did not recognize the voice.
DUFFY heard a rumbling above him and knew that the walls were about to fall. As he reached a window the floor beneath him gave way and he was left clinging by his hands to the window casing on the inside of the building. In falling, a piece of broken pipe had punctured the battalion chief's abdomen, and his hands were badly cut.
However, he managed to hang on amid the flames and smoke and finally drew himself up to the window ledge and gained the fire escape from which he was rescued by other firemen.
Battalion Chief JOSEPH O'CONNOR of the Second Battalion was carried out of a fourth floor window a few minutes before the "All hands out and down the ladders" order was given. O'CONNOR was overcome by smoke and was found on the floor by firemen who fell across his body.
Captain QUINN of Engine No. 32 was badly cut about the hands by glass in getting out of a window in responding to the order to quit the building.
Every available man was put to work on the lower floors digging into the debris for the missing men. Orders were given by Chief Binns to not wait for the walls to cool, but to drag out the debris piece by piece until the bodies of the three missing men were located.
Post Standard Syracuse New York 1907-01-07