FIREMEN KILLED IN CHICAGO.
On Saturday morning last a fire occurred in a furniture factory in Chicago, resulting in injuring eight Firemen, four of them fatally. From the telegraphic account of this disaster, we quote as follows: “The fire was discovered in the immense furniture manufactory of F. Mayer & Co., at the corner of Clinton and Sebor streets. The building fronted 175 feet on the former and had a depth of about 50 feet on the latter street. The walls were undoubtedly deficient in construction and, despite their height, were found to have been only eight inches in thickness above the first floor. The building was filled with dry woods, veneers, oil, varnishes and other extremely inflammable material, and within twenty minutes was a mass of fire quite beyond the control of the Firemen. While every effort was being made to subdue it, and while it was at its height, the north or front wall fell outwards without warning, fourteen Firemen and one police officer were buried in the ruins. An organized effort was made to rescue the buried men, over some of whom the debris of timbers and bricks was piled to a depth of five feet. When all were got out it was found that two had escaped all injury, being scarcely bruised. Eight men, all Firemen, were found to have been hurt but not dangerously, while the wounds of the other four are of such a character as to render death certain. The losers are only partly insured. The following is a list of those who will die :
James Conway, Engine No. 18, both legs broken and injured internally ; found buried under five feet of bricks and debris.
Edward Murphy, Captain Engine No. 1 ; caught under beam ; picked out still clinging to the nozzle of his pipe ; his shoulder blade is broken, hip dislocated, and chest is crushed in.
“ William Van Osdell, Engine No. 17, very badly cut about the head and injured internally.
“James Tobin, Pipeman, Engine No. 1, buried under brick, with walls of chest crushed in.”
From the above it will be seen that the above was a mere shell, the walls but eight inches thick, and it undoubtedly was built in violation of the building laws of the city. The men who put up such a structure are morally responsible for the sacrifice of life that occurred, and we believe their families can recover damages from the owners of the building, or from the city that permitted its erection in violation of law. We hope steps will be taken to prosecute all persons who share any degree of responsibility for the murderous construction of this factory, whether it be the owners or the contractors. Such shells of buildings are going up in all large cities, and it is time owners were made to feel that they cannot defy the law and public sentiment with impunity.