BIG FIRE IN ST. LOUIS—ONE FIREMAN KILLED.
At about 9:30 o’clock, on the evening of April 4, a mysterious explosion occurred in Mack & Co.’s wholesale clothing house, in St. Louis, Mo. The explosion was so violent that all the window’s in the building were shattered, and all the houses in the block more or less shaken. Immediately after the explosion flames began to issue from the windows, and the fire appeared to be burning fiercely. An alarm was sent in, and the Fire Brigade was quickly on hand. The Engines responding were not sufficient, and two more alarms were sounded. The fire spread rapidly to adjacent buildings, and it was midnight before the Firemen had it under control.
During the progress of the fire a terrible accident occurred. Four members of the Life Saving Corps, Charles Crowley, Joseph Reed, Fred Nelson, and Wm. Ritz, mounted to the top of one of the buildings, that they might better direct the streams on the fire. While they were at work the wall fell, precipitating them to the ground. Their comrades and many of the spectators rushed into the ruins to rescue them. Three were immediately dragged out. but Fred Nelson, of Hook and Ladder Company No. 4, was so buried under the debris that he was not found until the next morning. When discovered his body was horribly mangled, and life was extinct. Wm. Ritz was also terribly injured,’and will very likely die. The total loss on buildings and stock was about $500,000.