Posts Tagged ‘Fires’

Irving Zuelke Music Company

December 18, 2012

Irving Zuelke - Merry Christmas - Appleton Post Crescent WI 24 Dec 1921

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Dec 24, 1921

From GenDisasters:

Business District of Appleton Threatened

(Special to The Northwestern)

Appleton, Wis. – In sub-zero weather, firemen from Appleton and five surrounding cities fought a fire at the corner of College avenue and Oneida street, which, for a time, threatened the entire business section of this city. While it was possible to prevent spread of the flames, the structure attacked was completely destroyed, with a loss estimated at a quarter of a million dollars.

The property involved was a brick building, directly at the corner with a frontage of sixty feet, on College avenue, and 100 feet deep along Oneida street. It was occupied by two stores and several offices. It was owned by Irving Zuelke and his loss on the building alone is placed at $65,000. All that remains standing is the front wall, and that will have to be razed…. [more at the link above.]

The Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh, WI 26 Jan 1928

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Before the fire:

Irving Zuelke - new store 1 - Appleton Post Crescent WI 18 Dec 1924

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Irving Zuelke - new store 2 - Appleton Post Crescent WI 18 Dec 1924

SEVERAL thousand people, many of whom came from cities as far as 100 miles away, visited Irving Zuelke’s new music store at the corner of Oneida -st and College-ave during his formal opening. The store is one of the finest of its kind in the middlewest, comparing very favorably with the best in the largest cities.

Enormous changes have been made in the interior of the building, as well as in the exterior. Every possible convenience for customers and for the business has been installed. All the rooms are beautifully appointed and arrangements were made for the fastest service for customers.

The main floor, used largely for general display purposes, is beautifully finished and well arranged. Highly decorative lighting fixtures have been installed and soft carpets add to the elegance of the room.

The display windows on two sides of the building are attracting a great deal of attention. They are spacious and so arranged that they can be decorated with the maximum effectiveness. Wax figures are used effectively in decorating the windows.

The piano room, radio room and phonograph room are on the third floor and a recital hall also has been fitted up on that floor.

The sales rooms are well equipped for demonstration and display purposes. Nothing that would add to attractiveness or to comfort has been omitted.

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Dec 18, 1924

Irving Zuelke - Special Christmas Offer - Appleton Post Crescent WI 13 Dec 1926

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Dec 13, 1926

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Deadly Fire at Keenan & Jahn’s

July 24, 2012

Image of Detroit Hook & Ladder Co. No.8 from Detroit Historical Society   (not the firemen in this article)

SAD FATALITY.

Several Lives Lost in a Fire at Detroit This Morning.

FIVE FIREMEN KILLED.

And Quite a Number of Others are Seriously Injured.

CRUSHED BY A WALL.

One Bystander Killed and Several Injured — Loss About $60,000.

Image from the Burton Historical Collection

DETROIT,. Oct. 5. — Fire at 7:45 o’clock this morning completely gutted Keenan & Jahn’s furniture store at No. 213, 215 and 217 Woodward Avenue, entailing a loss of $60,000 on the stock and $25,000 on the building. The fire started in the boiler room and shot up the freight elevator shaft, obtaining such headway that the firemen were unable to save any portion of the building contents.

Six men were killed and four or five were severely injured by the falling of the walls.

The name of the dead are:

MICHAEL DONAGHUE, chemical engine No. 1.

PIPEMAN RICHARD DELY, engine No. 9.

PIPEMAN JOHN PAGEL, engine No. 9.

MARTIN BALL, engine company No. 9.

JULIE G. CUMMINGS, truck No. 8.

FREDERICK BUSSEY, a clerk.

The injured are:

FRED DRAHEIM, engine No. 8, badly injured.

E.E. STEVENS, chemical engine No. 1, badly injured.

MICHAEL C. GRAY, badly hurt about head and body.

LIEUT. PATRICK O’ROURKE, engine No. 8, badly injured.

F.E. STOCKS, pipeman engine No. 8.

BARTHOLOMEW CRONIN, pipeman engine No. 8.

JOHN B. NEWELL, truck No. 2.

LESLIE E. McELMURRAY, fireman.

THOMAS GURRY, fireman.

HENRY HERIG, inspector.

None of the last six maned are badly injured.

The floors of the building fell in at 9:15 o’clock, and the front and rear walls immediately collapsed. The men of Engine company No. 9, chemical No. 1 and truck No. 2 were working in the windows and doors of the ground floor in front. In the rear the men of engine No. 8 were playing on the fire from a bridge that spanned the alley. The men wee working close to the rear walls when they collapsed and they were completely imbedded in the debris. Every man in the company except the captain was more or less injured, and Frederick A. Bussey, an inspector who was standing beneath the bridge, was killed.

The work of rescue was immediately begun, and in fifteen minutes the men who had been working in the alley had been taken out.

The firemen working in the front of the building did not fare so well, however. When the first cract of the falling floors was heard the men started to run, but the walls came down on them so swiftly that all were buried under tons of brick and mortar. The walls did not fall outside of the middle of the sidewalk, and the last brick had scarcely touched the walk before the work of rescue in front began.

The first body recovered was that of Lieut. Donaghue. Then the bodies of Pagel, Dely, Cummings and Ball were taken out in succession. Michael Gray was badly injured, as was also E.E. Stevens.

The building was a five story brick with 12-inch filled walls, and it is said that it had been condemned as being unsafe. The insurance on the building foots up $10,000 and on the stock about $50,000.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Oct 4, 1894

Image from Shorpy (click link for huge, very detailed and awesome image)

This is Woodward Avenue in 1910. Keenan & Jahn still have a furniture store located there, but according to the following information posted at DetroitYES!, it is not on the same block as it was at the time of the fire. I am not sure if the  Keenan & Jahn Furniture store in the smaller picture above is pre-fire or post-fire, but it in the big image from Shorpy, the store is located in a corner building, while the other appears to be sandwiched between two buildings.

From DetroitYES!:

One of the persons who already commented on Shorpy about this photo has provided the wrong location for it. He apparently did not know that Detroit renumbered all of their street addresses in 1920 because he used the old 260 address on the building at the far left to provide the Google Street Views.

Using the 1910 Detroit City Directory, I’ve confirmed that that this photo was actually taken from Grand Circus Park where Park Ave. (foreground) intersects with Woodward. [Google Street View]

According to the 1910 Directory, the building on the right was the Grand Circus Bldg. at 261-271 Woodward. Its tenants included “Keenan & Jahn Furniture” (261-263), “Goodyear Raincoat Co. and Rubber Store” (265), “H.R. Leonard Furniture” (267-269) and “T.C. Mau Furrier” (269). Sharing the 271 address were “A.L. Le Gro, Dentist” and “Frederick W. MacDonald, Dentist”.

Morris Street Fire – Children Burned to Death

October 18, 2011

1882 image of Broadway and Morris from The Tower Building website

FIRE IN MORRIS-STREET.

Three Children Burned to Death — Several Persons Injured

We have again to record another painful calamity that occurred yesterday morning in the lower part of the city which was attended with loss of life, while a number of persons being terribly injured. About 8 o’clock the Hall bell struck an alarm of fire for the eighth district.

The fire originated on the first floor of the building No. 18 Morris-street, occupied as a grocery store, by Patrick Fitzsimmons, and owing to the flames spreading among the liquors they swept through the floor above with great fury and baffled all the exertions of the firemen for some time. The upper portion of the building was occupied by a large number of poor families, the children of whom were yet in their beds, and in consequence of the powerful streams of water that were played into the rooms, the occupants became bewildered, and some of them leaped from the windows to the icy side-walks, sustaining serious and probably fatal injuries. The fire was finally subdued and the contents and interior of the premises were found to be nearly destroyed.

Three little children perished in the flames, and their bodies were subsequently found in the mass ruins, all charred and burned to a crisp, so as to render it almost impossible to recognize them, — the parents of the dead however identified their unfortunate little ones, and they are as follows:

Elizabeth Arrey, aged 3 or 4 months.

Anne Arrey, aged 8 or 9 years.

A child of Sarah Crosby.

Mrs. Crosby was also badly bruised, and was taken to the Hospital.

The following are the names of those who were injured, and also those who are missing:

INJURED.

Carrick Crosby fell from the second story window, and had his back broke. He was taken to the City Hospital, by Officer McCabe of the first Patrol District, and is beyond all hopes of recovery.

Cornelius Towny fell from the second floor to the first, among the burning ruins, and was nearly burned to death. Conveyed to the Hospital.

Mrs. Towney, (wife of Cornelius,) had her arm crushed by a fall, while endeavoring to save her two children, who were finally rescued from the devouring element alive, but were considerably burned about their faces, breast and arms.

Mrs. Arrey, (wife of Thomas,) had her leg crushed by jumping from the upper story window; taken to the hospital by officer McCabe.

A man by the name of John Woods, a printer, boarded in the house and is yet missing; fears are entertained that he has also perished in the flames.

A lad named Henry Hickey, was also missing, but has since been found.

The other tenants of the premises barely escaped with their lives, but afterwards were nearly frozen to death in the street, before they could be provided with shelter. The fire department worked with great energy, and the poor houseless sufferers were rendered every assistance by Captains Silvey, Van Zandt, officer McCabe, and other members of the First Ward Police.

After the remains of the mutilated bodies were extricated from the ruins they were conveyed to the First District Police Station, and inquests held upon them severally by Alderman Moore, who acted as Coroner, the verdicts of which in each case were in accordance with the facts and heart-rending circumstances as given above.

New York Daily Times (New York, New York) Jan 15, 1852

San Francisco Fire: June 14, 1850

May 4, 2009
San Francisco Fire (Image from /bancroft.library.ca.gov)

San Francisco Fire (Image from /bancroft.library.ca.gov)

*Fire image is actually from the 1851 fire, not this 1850 fire.

THE SAN FRANCISCO FIRE.

Some friend has sent us the San Francisco Daily Herald of June 17, which contains the particulars of the loss by the last great fire on the 14th of June. — It originated in a back building attached to the Sacramento House, between Sacramento and Clay streets, a little before 8 o’clock in the morning, and as the wind was high, it quickly communicated with the ajoining buildings, and in a little more than three hours two-thirds of the wealthiest portion of the city was destroyed. The following shows the locations and extent of the disaster:

STREETS BURNED.

Clay street, south side, corner of Kearney, occupied by Osborne & O’Donnel, grocers, Building owned by Finley, Johnston & Co.      Total loss.

Clay street, on both sides from the above to Montgomery street, and on the south side to the bay; burning all the new houses recently erected on the former burnt district from the Plaza to Montgomery street, except one.

Montgomery street, on both sides from the south side of Clay street to California street, except the large brick building owned by W.H. Davis, and occupied as the custom-house.

Sacramento street, on both sides, from Kearney street to the bay, including the large iron ware-house owned by Cooke, Baker & Co., and occupied by the Empire City Steamship office.

California street, on the north side, from Kearney street to the bay, except the custom-house building, as before mentioned.

Kearney street, on the east side, all buildings from Clay to California street.

Central Wharf — All the buildings on this wharf and the street leading to it, including the large warehouses of Mellus, Howard & Co., Finley, Johnson & Co., and D. Gibb.

Sherman‘s building, corner of Montgomery and Clay streets, was for several hours in imminent danger. This building was occupied by Green & Morgan, Melhado, Klancke & Co., J. Mattoon & Co., on Clay street, and by Fay, Pierce & Willis, Bacon & Mahoney, R.J. Stevens & Co., and R.M. Sherman, on Montgomery street. The occupants, with a host of good men and true, concentrated all their force to save that building, on which hung the fate of the entire block bounded by Clay, Montgomery and Jackson streets.

The Herald says over three hundred houses were burned, and estimates the loss at more than three million dollars. It gives a list of the sufferers, and among them we observe the names of Vandyke & Belden, to the amount of $30,000, who were also sufferers by the previous fire to the amount of $20,000.

Great credit is awarded to Col. Jack Hays, to whose exertions is attributed the salvation of the whole block bounded by the north side of Clay street, and from Montgomery street to the water.

This is pretty amazing. I noticed in the article I posted (scroll down to the fire picture) mentioning the previous fire they also immediately started rebuilding. I suppose there was good and bad in that, probably could have used a bit more planning, but I don’t think that was how they did it back then.

The editor remarks that “the enterprise of the citizens, although it has received a severe shock, has nevertheless not succombed beneath the misfortune;” and that in passing through the blazing streets, an hour and a half after the fire had been subdued, he saw carpenters already at work relaying the foundation of a building that had been torn down but two hours before; and various contracts to have buildings immediately erected had been even then concluded by some of those who had suffered heavily by the fire.

Artesian wells are to be sunk, reservoirs constructed, and hook and ladder and engine companies are to be organized for the purpose of preventing a recurrence of such a dreadful calamity.

The Daily Sanduskian (Sandusky, Ohio) Jul 30, 1850

Portsmouth Square, San Francisco, CA 1851 (Image from Wikimedia)

Portsmouth Square, San Francisco, CA 1851 (Image from Wikimedia)

From the San Francisco Herald of July 28.
CITY IMPROVEMENTS.

San Francisco is rising like a phoenix from its ashes. This day fortnight, the fairest and most important part of the city was a heap of smouldering ruins, and sadness and gloom were depicted on the countenances of all our citizens. To-day there is to be seen springing up, on the very sites of those ruins, buildings that in substantiality, size, and even magnificence, might favorably compare with those of any other city in the world. The smoke was still curling from the charred rafters, when the momentary depression caused by so sweeping a desolation was cast off, and the indomitable energies of our people set to work to clear away the rubbish for the new foundations.

Nothing short of an earthquake, we believe, can cope with the energy and enterprise of our citizens.

This third, and we hope, last, conflagration, however, has taught us a good lesson: and we are not without hope but it will be productive of great and lasting good to the community. — The most efficient measures have been adopted, not only to guard against recurrence of fires in the future, but to promptly extinguish them before they have become unmanageable. A fire department has been organised, permanent reservoirs of water have been prepared at convenient distances throughout the city, and every means taken that the prudence and intelligence of our citizens could devise for the prevention of similar disasters in future. Besides, the most of the buildings now in process of erection are of brick and fire-proof, and several of them have wells dug in them, and are supplied with a fire apparatus. Indeed, it seems hardly possible, with the means now at our disposal for extinguishing fires, that this destructive element will ever again, to any considerable extent, destroy the property of our citizens.

In the course of a walk yesterday afternoon over the scene of the late calamity, we made a few notes of the progress that has been made with the various buildings in process of erection, which we shall briefly detail.

[The paper gives a long list of buildings in the course of erection in the burnt district, of a substantial character, among which we note the following:

On the north-west corner of Montgomery and Clay streets, Messrs. Vandyke and Belden, general merchants, are building a large three story fire-proof brick building, with a frontage of sixty-nine feet on Montgomery street and fifty-five feet on Clay. The lower rooms are to be occupied as stores and the upper rooms as offices. The building will probably cost about thirty thousand dollars, and is to be completed on the twenty-fifth of next month.

All the buildings to be erected between Clay and Sacramento streets, as well as those in the rear of Clay and Commercial streets, much be of brick, as Messrs. Howard & Green, who own the lots, have made that a condition in the deed of sale.

During the course of our inquiries we were struck with astonishment at the immense increase in the value of property in San Francisco in the short space of three years. In 1846 and ’47, a fifty vara lot could be purchased in any part of the city for fifteen dollars. In the late sales the land brought from seven hundred to nine hundred dollars per foot! and this is much less than could be obtained for it a short time ago.

We cannot close this article without referring to the progress of the public improvements which have been referred to. There are three artesian wells and four reservoirs in process of construction.

The artesian wells are being constructed in the following localities. One in Portsmouth square; one in California street near the custom-house, and the third at the intersection of Dupont and Pacific streets. Mr. Eddy has the contract for their construction at 12 per perpendicular foot, the bore to be six inches in diameter. The one in the center of the square has been bored to the depth of sixty feet, and it is expected, we have been informed that the boring must proceed to the depth of 200 feet, before a sufficient supply of water will be obtained. Each of these artesian wells is to have a fountain. The fountain in the square is to be twenty-five feet in diameter, and to have a dozen jets of water in continual play. The basin is to be finished with fine cut stone coping on the top of the brick walls, and to be surrounded with a handsome ornamental iron railing. The other two fountains are to be twelve feet in diameter. These artesian wells are intended to supply the four reservoirs which are being constructed a short distance from them, with an abundant supply of water, so as to meet any emergency. The one in the square is intended to supply the reservoir of the square, and the one at the intersection of Washington and Montgomery streets.

The reservoir near the Custom house in California street, is in the form of an ellipsis, thirty-six feet by twenty-four, and is calculated to contain 3,000 gallons of water. It is to be arched with substantial brick walls laid in Roman cement. The entire depth reached last night, was fourteen feet. At this depth three feet of water was obtained. There are to be two apetures, through which to introduce the suction hose of the engines.

The reservoir at the intersection of Dupont and Pacific streets, is to be in the form of a circle, and is to be 24 feet in diameter, and to contain 25,000 gallons of water. A depth of 18 feet has been reached, but no water has yet been obtained, nor is any expected.

The one on the square is of the same size and is to be covered iwth timber. That at the foot of Washington and Montgomery, is to be a square cistern and to contain from 10 to 15 thousand gallons. It is to be covered with timber.

These works are to be completed in three weeks from this time. Mr. John Cochran has the contract for the reservoirs in the square, and the corner of Washington and Montgomery streets. We understand he is to receive $14,500 for the two reservoirs. Messrs. Timmons and Stewart have the contract for the other two reservoirs and the ornamental fountain on the square, and are to receive $9000 for each reservoir, and $3375 for the fountain.

It is calculated that these works when completed will cost $50,000, and that the reservoirs will contain a supply of $100,000 gallons of water. Other improvements both of a public and private nature are contemplated, which we shall refer to on a future occasion.

The Daily Sanduskian (Sandusky, Ohio) Aug 13, 1850