KALAMAZOO FIREMEN BURIED.
As was recorded in FIRE AND WATER of March 5, a disastrous fire took place at Hall’s chemical works, Kalamazoo, Mich., where, owing to an explosion, ten men were killed, several fatally injured, and a score more injured. Among the killed were Firemen Wagar, Dole, McHugh, and Holiday. On March 1 seven of the victims were buried on the one day, two of the firemen, McHugh and Holiday, from the Roman Catholic church of St. Augustine, and two more, Dole and Wagar, from their own homes. At St. Augustine’s there was a solemn high Mass of requiem attended by Mayor Stearns and six aldermen. The church was crowded and among those present were firemen from Elkhart, Ind., a contingent of four. Chief Walker, with three captains, three lieutenants, and eight firemen from Grand Rapids, Mich. The bodies of Firemen McHugh and Holiday were borne up the nave of the church by Firemen Curran, J. Rectenwald, Wait, Raunecker, Burt, and Linahan, and Firemen Scherer,Nason, Raseman, M. Rectenwald. Peters, and Welch.
The funeral of Fireman Wagar took place from his home on Minor avenue and was conducted, so far as the ceremonial went,by the Knights of Pythias—the uniformed rank and two other lodges attendir.g in a body. Rev. J. A. Johnson, conducted the religious service. A delegation from the city council consisting of four aldermen, with City Clerk Gleason and City Assessor Winslow,were also present,as were also Chief Healy, of the fire department, several local and visiting firemen, and representatives from the police department. The deceased was buried at Texas township, his old home.
Eugene Dole was borne to the grave by six of his former comrades in the fire department,M. Welch,C.Burt, M.E. Linahan, G. Peters, A. Raunecker, and J.Scherer. The funeral services at his home on Second street were conducted by Rev. J.A. Johnson. The visiting delegations of firemen all attended in a body, as well as a large number of members of the Independent Order of Red Cross, of which the deceased was a member,and members of the city council. The floral offerings, as at the other funerals, were profuse and very beautiful, including pieces from the city government, the fire department of this city, also from the Jackson, Grand Rapids, and Detroit firemen, and the Red Cross, besides many others. The interment took place at Riverside cemetery.
The floral offerings on the different coffins were rich and abundant. Many were sent by the firemen of the city and fire departments elsewhere. The Grand Rapids firemen brought with them a floral pillow with the words “ At Rest.’’ The city government sent for each one a beautiful wreath of smilax and ferns,with roses,carnations.and tulips. Attached to each wreath was a large card bearing the following inscription: “To the Memory of Fireman-. To his Brave, Unflinch-
ing, and Faithful Service, a Tribute. To his bereaved friends, the city of Kalamazoo, by its council and officers.” As the funeral processions passed through the streets every head was bared: business was at a standstill and half-masted flags and other signs of mourning were universally displayed. The Detroit delegation of visiting firemen arrived in a special car and numbered thirty-eight. There was one man from each engine, hook and ladder, and chemical company in that city, and from the water tower, all under Assistant Chief James C.Broderick.
Assistant Secretary A. M. Harris was also present. Jackson and Battle Creek sent a delegation of six firemen each. Public memorial services were held the next afternoon in the Congregational church, attended by Mayor Stearns and city officials. At the request of the mayor business was suspended for two hours. A subscription for the widows, orphans, and relatives of the deceased firemen has been opened, towards which ten per cent, of the receipts of the evening’s performance was contributed by the management of the opera house. The city council also sent a bouquet of flowers to each member of the fire department who was hurt at the fire as a token of sympathy. The origin of the fire and explosion is mysterious and is being inquired into. The splendid and unfaltering work of Chief Healy and his men on the occasion in ihe face of death is deservedly the theme of admiration and praise.