Firemen Killed in Peekskill

Firemen Killed in Peekskill

Seven men lost their lives, four others were seriously injured, and two are reported missing in a fire which destroyed a large grain warehouse belonging to the Fleischmann Manufacturing Company at Peekskill early on the morning of August 2. Six of the dead and all four of those injured were members of the Peekskill fire department. The property loss is estimated at $330,000. The fire was first discovered shortly before midnight, and by the time the firemen arrived they found the entire structure, which was about 200 feet long and 100 feet wide, in a blaze, and the flames, having already broken through the roof, leaping a hundred feet in the air. The light could be seen for miles up and down the Hudson, on whose banks the building stood.

The fight with the flames had gone on for more than two hours, and it was plain that the building and all the seventy carloads of grain within it were doomed when the firemen set their ladders against the blank wall on the windward side, intending to carry hose up and play directly down into the interior.

Cassells was the first man up a ladder, and he was already near the top when it was noticed that the wall was beginning to bulge slowly outward. Several warning shouts came too late, and a large section of the wall near the top, directly above him, fell, knocking him off the ladder and burying him beneath a pile of bricks at its foot.

The other men, heedless of the danger, had run forward to try to save Cassells, and just as they reached the foot of the ladders the entire wall came down with a roar and a crash, burying them under a mound of debris.

Kelly, O’Donnell, Hart and Manning were on the outskirts, and, though knocked down and partly buried, were rescued almost at once by their comrades, together with police and spectators, under the direction of Fire Chief Forbush and Chief of Police Burke. But, though the rescue parties dug frantically into the mass, so deeply were the others buried that it was nearly four hours before the first bodies were recovered, by which time the fire had burned itself out. Later the bodies of Dr. Greene, Toorpyand Cassells were recovered, but the others were not found until the following day.

The new switchboard to be installed by the Gamewell Company to be used in connection with the fire alarm system of the South Manchester, N. H., fire district is nearly assembled. In installing the new board provision is made for six circuits, two of which will be used in taking care of the boxes and bells on the west side of the district and two others will take care of the circuits and bells on the east side, the remaining two being kept in reserve until such time as there will be a consolidation of the north and south ends of the town with one fire department and an alarm system in that part of the town.

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