New York, NY 59th Street Building Fire, Jan 1909

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Fire Next To The Plaza.

Building Damaged While Hotel Patrons Look On.

Fire, thought to have been started by spontaneous combustion among grease and paint-stained overalls of workingmen on the premises, damaged a four-story brown-stone building at 22 West Fifty-ninth Street next door to the Plaza Hotel, just after 8 o'clock last night. The patrons of the hotel from overlooking windows watched the fire with more interest than alarm, although the flames from the burning building shot up to the tenth floor of the hotel.

During the fire the Fifty-ninth Street surface line was tied up for twenty minutes, the cars forming a solid chain from Fifth Avenue west to Ninth Avenue and east to Second Avenue. Several thousand persons gathered in the street to watch the fire.

The fire was discovered by Charles Von Gretchan, a house detective at the Plaza, who saw the flames leaping from front windows and telephoned a fire alarm.

The damage was only $500.

The New York Times, New York, NY 20 Jan 1909