New York, NY House Fire, Feb 1910

Hung From Window Of Burning House

HOLMES, Driven Out by Smoke, Clung to the Sill Until Rescued by Firemen.

Ladder Broke Under Them

Rescuers and Man They Saved Fell Fifteen Feet When the Lower Section Gave Way.

John DWYER, a retired merchant, lives in a three-story and basement house at 121 East 114th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, with his wife and three daughters. Louis HOLMES, a friend of the family, has a room on the third floor front. Last night the servants went out.

Mr. DWYER, his wife and three daughters sat in the dining room reading and talking until midnight. They then went to the second floor, their bedrooms. Mrs. DWYER sent her husband back to the kitchen to get some bottled spring water at about 12:30 o'clock. When he opened the dining room door he encountered a cloud of smoke.

Closing the door again, he ran back to the second floor calling to his wife and daughters on the way to get on their clothes. They threw some light wraps about them and got out of the front door just as the flames, coming up from the dining room in the basement, crossed the stairway.

Louis HOLMES, who had been asleep, was awakened by the shouts of the DWYERS. He ran down the stairss, but he found his way cutt off below the second floor. The flames were reaching up to the second floor. Running back up to his room on the third floor again he stood out on the edge of the window.

That was necessary in order that he might breath, for the smoke had now filled the third floor and was pouring out of all the windows. After a little HOLMES hung down from the window sill by his hands so as to bring his head as much below the window as possible.

A fire alarm, which had been turned in by Policeman WEIGOLD, had brought Truck 26, comanded by Capt. Edward FAGAN. Seeing the plight of HOLMES he called to him: "Hold on, man; we'll help you down in a minute."

He ordered a thirty-five-foot extension ladder run up to the window and then ordered Firemen LAIRD and HORTON to go up and bring HOLMES down. They reached him none too soon. His strength was nearly gone.

As the three were coming back down the ladder it broke in two when they were fifteen feet aobev (sic) the stone stoop of the house. The fall of the three was broken somewhat by a shorter ladder that was under them. The firemen were slightly bruised, and HOLMES was badly shaken up. He was taken to a nearby hotel, where he was treated by the family physician.

The fire destroyed the contents of the basement and first and second floors of the house. It was extinguished before it had done any great damage to the third floor. The DWYERS went to the home of the Rev. D. LOWENTHAL of 125 East 114th Street.

Mrs. DWYER said she believed the fire was incendiary. Her husband, she said, had told her that from what he had seen and learned from the firemen the fire had started on the side of the kitchen opposite to that where the range was.

The New York Times, New York, NY 6 Feb 1910