Ladders Save Many in Trenton

Ladders Save Many in Trenton

Fast and skillful ladder operations on December 2, last, helped to rescue fifty persons, including one group of seven children, when fire swept through a fourstory downtown building in Trenton. N. J.

Firemen, responding on three alarms, brought the blaze under control within a half hour, but meanwhile hundreds of spectators witnessed a spectacular demonstration of rescue work. The brick joist structure contained apartments located over retail stores, with outside fire escapes and a single interior stairway. Two large families occupied the second and third floors while the fourth was occupied by three families. Their egress from the structure was a single exit and this was quickly cut off by smoke and fire, forcing most of the tenants to the exterior emergency escapes and windows.

Shown here are Trenton, N. J., firemen helping remove some of the 50 tenants of the Dalton Building to the street during a three-alarm fire, December 2, last. Stairways were impassable.

The fire is believed to have originated in the apartment of the building superintendent from an unknown cause. The custodian was not at home at the time, but his seven children were in the apartment. All were led to safety.

The fire was reported first noticed by four employes of a trucking concern in the Earle Hotel, across the street. After sounding an alarm, these men hurried to assist in the rescue work. They helped in the removal of ten persons, including two children, from the fourth floor, and aided other tenants from the floors below.

Meanwhile firemen, who arrived quickly, promptly ran up ladders to the roof, fire escapes and windows on two sides of the building in which occupants were observed. Hose lines were taken into the building in an effort to drive back the fire, which quickly cut off the stairway.

Men, women and children trapped on fire escapes were carried or led down ladders to the street. One rescue involved a two-year old girl who appeared on a third-floor fire escape and indicated she would jump. Firemen shouted to her to stand still and ran up a ladder and brought her down. Other fire fighters began a hurried search for children reported trapped on the upper floors.

Fire Chief Thomas J. Phelan was in charge of operations. Most of the city’s fire force responded to the three alarms. Damage to the interior of the building was reported considerable, but some families were able to return to their smoked out quarters the same night of the fire.

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