NEW YORK HAPPENINGS..

NEW YORK HAPPENINGS..

So far as concerns fires from Christmas trees or decorated show windows, there have been very few this season, and these not worth mentioning. In fact. Christmas Day was one of the easiest for the firemen that has been known in years. At the same time there have been three deaths from fire, for not one of which the firemen could be held responsible. One, that of a six-year-old boy, was in the five-story brick building. 176 Greenwich street, borough of Manhattan. The child’s mother and his brothers and sisters escaped; but in the general panic he was overlooked and was suffocated by the smoke. Another, also in Manhattan borough, was that of a tramp who was asleep in a little house on the pumping pier of the department of street cleaning at ‘.Vest Nineteenth street. He had evidenty lain down on the bags, when the fire, which was among some unbaled paper in two scows, ran through the other inflammable matter and broke through the bridge overhead into the house already mentioned. The scows were towed our and the fire was put out by a fireboat. The third case was that of Mrs. James Millen, an aged woman, who lived alone in her own home, a little one-story house on Thompson street Stapleton (S. I.), borough of Richmond. There was a high fence in front of her house and the gate was kept always locked. About 6 o’clock p.m. Fireman Cowen, of Relief hose company,whose house is opposite the home of Mrs. Millen, saw smoke coming from the windows. He and others broke into the yard and house and found the bedroom occupied by the old woman on fire. Her insensible form, only partly dressed, was found near the front door. She was carried into a neighboring house and a physician was summoned, but she died soon after the doctor’s arrival. The fire was extinguished, but not until the house was gutted by the flames. It is supposed that Mrs. Millen, who was feeble, had upset her lamp in preparing to go to bed.—Two children who had been forgotten in a fire in a fire in the double five-story flathouse, 496 Manhattan avenue, borough of Manhattan, were pluckiiy rescued by a bicycle policeman, who was riding by when the fire was discovered. He rushed in through fire and smoke and got up to the third floor where he found four children partly overcome by smoke He grabbed two and carried them down stairs, followed by Joseph ileberger, of the fire patrol, with the other two. The fire had started in the basement and climbed up the airshaft. Peter Munch, of the fire patrol, was the first man to work on it He carried a fire extinguisher and kept the fire out of the hill till and tenants got out. Three alatms were sent in. Loss about $15,000.—Another fire in old “ Greenwich vi’lage,” which started in the bakery, 540 Hudson street (its origin was most mysterious) at an early hour in the morning had nearly fatal results. Thanks, however to the presence of mind on the part of Woods, the baker, who stood his wife and family of four children on the cornice outside the window, they were rescued by Capt. Riley and the men of hook and ladder truck No. 5. Another family with the exception of the father, who mule a break through the smoke and gained the roof, was rescued in the same way. As usual, it being the last tour for the police, thes; guardians of the public safety were conspicuous by their absence. The firemen again remarked this, as did all concerned. But Chief Devery had not yet got his new coupe. The firemen lo^k for great results now that he will be able to fly round the city at all hours —especially during the last tour! — A fire in the heart of the importing district created quite a little excitement during the busiest hours of Tuesday. The building where the fire occurred was at 458 Broadway, the first floor of which was occupied by the Pacific bank, in which many importing houses carry accounts. Before the fire was entirely under contiolthe bankers had established themselves on the main floor and in a surprisingly short time were ready to do business, thus enabling many importing houses to deposit their checks, which were unusually heavy, owing to the Monday holiday. 1’he cashier had just time to shove the books and some thousands in cash and checks into the big safe and close the doors. The rest of the cash was grabbed by the e’erks, who bolted out as if they were shot. When they got to work again, not one cent was missing.— Jacob Aranson, proprietor of a small dry goods store at 2075 Third avenue, has been lockec up in the East 104th stree police station on a charge of arson. There was a fire in his store at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. The arrest was made on information given to the police by William Dunn, a gas company employe, who had gone to Aranson’s store to examine the gas meter. The meter is under the show window. Dunn says that when he examined the meter he saw a lighted candle stuck in one side of the show window among a lot of laces and other goods on display. Dunn says he called Aranson’s attention to the danger, and was told to mind his own business. While they were talking, Dunn says, the lace caught fire and before the firemen arrived the flames had spread to the goods on the shelves. About $1,800 damage was done. Dunn reported to the police, and Aranson’s arrest followed. There is a suspicion of arson round other recent fires, and the fire marshal is making some very searching investigations. In the Aranson case, while one man was turning in an alarm, the suspected firebug pushed Dunn, the gas man, on one side, and cried, *’Wait for the engines ! Wait for the engines!” Dunn detected a smell of kerosene on the premises. Aranson denies that he had ever placed the candle where Dunn saw it, or that he even owned a candle. — The firemen of the borough of Richmond had three fires in one night to deal with. One consumed the unoccupied Nautilus hotel at Tompkins* ville—an old Staten Island landmark and a revolutionary relic. The fire was incendiary and broke out in the basement. The Kdgewater fire department was called o»t for a fire in the show window of a dry goods store, where the various articles were in flames from coming in contact with a gas jet. The firemen of the North Shore department had to wrestle with a fire in a thirty-ton stack of hay, whose origin was unknown. The blaze took place on Richmond avenue Port Richmond. The stack was entirely destroyed. — I* ire which broke out in a four-story double tenement house at 288 Wythe avenue, Williamsburg, at 2 05 o’clock p. m., compelled sixty persons to flee from their homes. The fire started, it is supposed, in the department of Mrs. Rezinsky on the second floor, while she was away from home. It is thought that live coals popped out from the fire which she left burning. Nearly all the families had to escape by way of the roof, and get into the street by going through the next house at 286 Wythe avenue. Two firemen slipped on a shed because the water from the fire hose froze almost as soon as it settled on anything. Neither fireman was badly hurt. The buildings at 286 and 288 Wythe avenue, owned by Paul Weidman, the brewer, were damaged to the extent of $10,000, it was estimated. The treasurer of the North Shore fire department, Port Richmond (S. I.), borough of Richmond, reports a balance in the treasury of $1.371.55As to the money from the two per cent.insurance tax—according to a recent opinion of the city’s corporation counsel, it reverts, according to the charter, to the Veteran Firemen’s association. Before consolidation, th’s money went into the fund of those doing active duty, and the firemen still believe they have a claim to the money while doing volunteer fire duty. A bill is to be drafted, to be presented to the legislature by the three fire departments on Staten Island, in which a clause will be inserted, asking that this two per cent, tax be paid to the three departments in Richmond borough while doing volunteer duty. The firemen are dissatisfied with the appropriations allowed them under the charter, and say they need more money to support their companies. Mr. Schwalbe, of the legislative committee, said that the representatives of that committee had agreed that $37,500 be asked for in the bill for the support of the forty different companies of the borough for a year. In this estimate engine companies were to receive $1,000, hook and ladder companies $Soo, and hose and patrol companies $700 each. Many of the representatives thought that this estimate was too low It was stated that in Queens borough thtee companies had received $5,000 a year together, and that the companies of Richmond, according to this, should receive at least $1,000 a year apiece. Depu:y Commissioner of Highways Henry P. Morrison, who is a member of the board, suggested that the committee investigate the appropriation in Queens county as compared with the assessed valuation of real estate and base an appropriation for Richmond county according to the same rate on its assessed valuation of real estate. There was considerable discussion on the subject, and Mr. Morrison’s suggestion was adopted —Another death must be added to those already mentioned—one which mQht possibly have been avoided had the alarm been turned in quickly enough. The fire, which was in the Brook’s livery stable, 609-613 Wes^ Fifty-fifth street, broke out early on Thursday, and spread with great rapidity through the whole building,which was two stories,and had a frontage of seventy-five feet, with a depth of 100 feet. The fire had evidently been burning for some time, when the watchman discovered it in the rear of the building. After he had turner! in an alarm, he and another watchman tried in vain to put out the blaze; but the flames drove them out. It was impossible to save the horses, eleven in number, among which was “ Dandy,” a famous trotter in his day, with a 2:40 record twenty years ago. As the whole bui’ding was one mass of flames, the firemen, although they heard the shrieks of the horses, some of which had broken their halters and were dashing against their stalb, could not attempt to save them. They did not know, however, that an unfortunate homeless young man —one well-known in the ncighbothood— had crawled rip into the hayloft to sleep. His charred body was found by the firemen after the flames had been extinguished. The loss is set down at $20,000. This life lost makes a large total of deaths by fire for the past month.

QUICK AS WINK COUPLER.
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NEW YORK HAPPENINGS.

1

NEW YORK HAPPENINGS.

Three more lives sacrificed at a fire in this city, and six persons, three of them firemen, more or less seriously injured, form another heavy butcher’s bill for this week. The scene of the disaster was not in a tenement district but in one of the fashionable residentiary streets of the upper West Side. The house was a handsome, richly furnished structure, 260 West Seventy-third street, in which lived Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Raymond, Mrs. Underwood, Mrs. Raymond’s sister, and several servants—one a butler, the first law of whose nature was evidently self-preservation, as, without following the example of plucky Mary Mullarky, the maid, who nearly lost her life in trying to save the cook, he jumped from the extension roof in the rear, and escaped with a bruised leg and a twisted ankle. The fatal character of the fire seems to be due to two facts : First, the absence of practical fire escapes, and,second, the headway gained by the flames before the arrival of any hook and ladder company—that most essential part of the fire department where theie are lives to be saved. The nearest hook and ladder truck had more than a mile to travel to the scene of the fire, and while it was coming,the occupants of the burning house were leaning from the windows crying for aid and scorched by the flames behind them. The fire evidently arose from a defective flue in the basement, from which a brick had fallen out. The servants had just got up for the day, and the maid found the rear parlor in flames. The heavy draperies caught and the fire swept across into : he hall. The girl ran through the flames downsta rs, and warned the cook, Mrs. Fee, not to go up The woman, however, did so; she was overtaken by the fire and found afterwards on the second floor, burned to a crisp. The tenant of the next house, hearing the commotion, ran to the window and seeing Mr. and Mrs. Raymond in their windows, told them some one had run to turn in an alarm and advised them to escape by the rear. That, however, the flames had rendered impossible. Mr. Raymond kept cheering up his wife; but, meanwhile no firemen, no watchman, no policeman, only spectatois were in sight. The man who undertook to send in an alarm in his haste overshot the nearest fire alarm box and turned it in from the box at Sixty-ninth street, five blocks away. The nearest hook and ladder truck was over a mile off, at Ninety-seventh street and Amsterdam avenue ; the nearest south, at West Forty-eighth street. Hence the apparent delay on the part of the firemen. Two engine companies were on hand before the hook and ladder came up, and Capt. Cosgrove turned in a second alarm. While Mrs. Raymond was struggling in her husband’s arms, truck No. 4 came up, and a car conductor, Doerr, an athlete and an habitual attendant on fires, seixing a ladder, tried to fix it; but it was a short,not a long ladder, and could reach only the window sill. He ran up, but failed to reach the woman. Meanwhile the firemen of the engine company had formed a living bridge from the adjoining house, along the coping ; but the bridge could not reach the two whom it was designed to save. Below the firemen were working hard and had stretched the life net across the area way, calling out to Mr. Raymond to wait one moment. She would not, however, and threw herself over the windowsill. Had she held on, Doerr would have had her; but just as he reached the last rung she fell, caught her leg on the steel hook of the ladder, and came heavily on Doerr. He, not being a fireman drilled to withstand such a shock, came down on to the hard stones of the areaway twenty feet below, receiving serious injuries. Mrs. Raymond missed the net and also fell. Her thighs were broken and she received other hurts from which she died in the Roosevelt hospital. Mr. Raymond was rescued in a state of collapse from smoke, shock, and exhaustion. Meanwhile Mrs. Underwood, his sister-in-law, who would have been perfectly safe at the window had she not jumped down, met her death by falling on the railing, rolling into the areaway dead. The house internally was burning furiously, and the firemen could not enter it to search for the cook. Three of them, Frederick Deissroth, of hook and ladder company No. 4,had his hand badly burned and cut; J. F Andrews was cut on his face and hands, and Edward Sweeney had his hand cut. They were treated at the hospital. That there is no hook and ladder truck nearer than the two points already indicated is altogether the fault of the residents of the district who obstinately resisted two successive attempts of the fire commissioners to locate a truck house in West Seventysixth street two years ago. The general plan of the fire department is to have a hook and ladder company within a reasonably short distance of every engine company,to supplement the work of the organizations whose business it is to put out fires. The hook and ladder companies are organized and trained primarily to save life, and arc particularly needed in the residence districts. Had such a company reached the Raymonds’ house as soon as the first engine, there would in all probability have been only one death instead ot three. Mrs. Raymond was an active member, and one of the organizers of the Red Cross society, and prominently identified with the Red Cross hospital. She volunteered for Red Cross service in the war, and presented to the Red Cross ship Texas the flags which it fllew when it went to the front. Mr. Raymond was a colonel of volunteers in the Civil war. His house was a museum of art treasures, tapestries, and rare books, all of which are destroyed. I’he loss is about $75 000. It would be interesting to know what the police and the private watchman — the latter, especially, paid to watch over the safety of that block—were about, not to be on hand, so as to have turned in the alarm from the proper box and thus saved several minutes’ delaya fatal delay, as it happened, and also helped to rescue the inmates, instead of leaving them to the tender mercies of chance and fire. A special investigation of their whereabouts —especially of the police, should be made. This business of hiding themselves away in saloons and other buildings, on the last tour, or standing in threes and fours—roundsmen and all—gossiping at street corners when they should bepatroling, has been the cause of fires making headway before discovery. —Fire Commissioner Scanned finding that he might go farther and fare worse, has reconsidered his action and, following the advice of FIRE AND WATER, has awarded the contracts for the new steam fire engines to the La France and American Fire Engine companies. – In common with Chief Bonner, the fire commissioner has indorsed the opposition of FIRE AND WATER to the proposed laying of four lines of trolley cars on Amsterdam aveuue in consequence of the danger likely to accrue to the fire apparatus, horses, and men from the constant stream of cars, often four at a time, up and down the avenue. In any case, supposing the men and the equipment were not in danger therefrom, much delay in reaching fires must necessa_____ily result owing to the apparatus being stopped en route or forced to make a long detour before it could get to the blaze. This t anger would be added to a thousandfold under the rule of a commissioner like Mr. McCartney, who sits down helpless and weeps or prays when the snow falls, instead of acting like his predecessor and setting to work like a man to clear it off.— That same Commissioner McCartney is also morally responsible for the grip that Is now decimating the ranks of the fire department to such a degree as to render it obligatory on Fire Commissioner Scanned to shorten the time of probation for some of the recruits and to put them into service at once, so as to have enough men to do the work. The filthy streets, the result of Mr. McCartney’s showing that he has well learned the lesson of how-not-to-do-it have been instrumental in sending too many men to their sickbeds—a pretty serious matter for the projierty-owners in the city.—The death is announced at his residence 14 East Sixty-sixth street, borough of Manhattan, of Louis J.Belloni, a former volunteer fireman. The deceased was seventy-two years of age.— Engine company No. 32. of 108 John street, borough of Manhattan, is the proud possessor of a valuable part A. The hose wagon was standing at the door with a team hitched to it, which had just returned from exercise. The wagon was being washed and the water spirting from the hydrant started the horses, which bolted like a shot, turning up John street and whizzing round the corner, wagon and all, into Cliff street. One of the firemen, Benjamin Parcell, started after them and overtook the team in front of 18 Cliff street. Rushing in front of the horses.he caught hold of the inside of the bridle of each. He hung on like grim death; but the frightened animals continued to run faster than ever. Firemen Merritt and Murphy had joined in the chase, and, running their best in their heavy rubber boots, reached the horses’ heads. Each grasped the outside of the bridle; but not until Beekman street was reached. Before the team could be brought to a standstill, Parcell, with what little strength he had left, still holding on to the lines, threw himself to one side into the street. His body struck against the wagon and he was twisted round and under the hind wheel, which passed over him above the waist. The wagon and hose weighed nearly three tons, and the only wonder was he was not killed at once. He would have been, said a surgeon from the Hudson Street hospital, had he not been lying on his stomach when run over. Parcell may die. He is of Italian origin, and has been one year a fireman. If he recovers, he will probably be beard of again, provided always he is not permanently injured and rendered incapable of service in the ranks of the fire department.