CHIEF SWENIE’S BIRTHDAY.
Chicago’s chief fire marshal celebrated his birthday on July 29 and was subjected to a kissing process by his numerous children and grandchildren, during which he received exactly 1,152 kisses at his home, 36 Pearce street. There were eighteen grandchildren waiting at the door to greet him, and they insisted on one kiss apiece for every year that had helped to whiten the beard of “grandpa.” So it happened that the chief received his wealth of kisses, and was ready for more from the same source when the youngsters had given their quota. Chief Swenie was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and came to America when he was fifteen years old. He reached Chicago in 1849 and was identified with the old volunteer fire department. He became a part of the paid organization when it succeeded the volunteers, and since 1880 has been at the helm. He counts forty-one years since he fought his first blaze, and now is recognized as one of the most capable fire fighters in world.
At 3 o’clock a. m. on Monday last the guests of the Berwyn hotel, 148 North State street, in the same city,found the building on fire. So rapidly did the blaze spread that men and women found themselves cut off from escape by the stairs. Three lives were lost and a number of persons were maimed and bruised in jumping from high windows to the pavement. One unidentified man was burned beyond recognition. When the fire was discovered, it was burning fiercely on a lower floor. A passerby raised a cry of warning, which aroused the guests. They appeared at the upper windows of the hotel in their night attire. Below them roared the fire, with gradually increasing fury, and clouds of smoke made uncertain the extent of the flames. One of the guests on the second floor swung himself out upon the ledge of the window, and, after gazing at the flames for a moment,deliberately jumped down to the sidewalkHe landed upon his feet, but fell into the gutter, helpless. A number of others followed. Among them was one who jumped from the fifth floor and was killed. Miss Marie McCabe and Miss Schroeder were carried from the second floor by Daniel O’Leary, the race-horse man. Mrs. Earl, an artist, was rescued from the second floor by firemen. Morris Jacobson, his wife, and their son, Ed ward .were carried from the second story by firemen.