Rooming House Holocaust in New York
Eleven persons were killed and many others injured in a fire which gutted the five-story theatrical rooming house, the Henrietta, at 741 Eighth Avenue, New York, at 2 a. m., April 17. The building is located midway in the block, between 46th and 47th Streets and Engine Company 54 is located next to the corner of the block, in 47th Street. The fire started in a pile of excelsior and other inflammable rubbish under the stairs leading to the basement of the 35-room apartment, which is one-half of the whole building, and the whole apartment, including hallway, is only about twelve feet wide. The fire had leaped up the stairway to the roof before it was discovered by night employees of an express office across the avenue. The street floor ot the whole building is a 5 and 10 cent store. There were no fire escapes on tront of the building, where many were rescued bv the ladders of Truck Company No. 4. When aroused from their sleep inmates endeavored to reach the roof, but a fiercely burning stairway prevented them from doing so, and they were hemmed in and perished in the hallway, some of them being burned to a crisp. Several made their escape by the fire escapes in rear of the building. The dead, which were found on every floor, are Mrs. George C. Davis, an actress; Muriel, three years old, her daughter; Michael Delaney, Delia, his wife; an unidentified woman. M. Scott, Charles O. Wallace, actor; his wife; unidentified man, about thirty-five years old; unidentified man who died in the hospital, and an unidentified man burned beyond recognition. There were 40 in the building at the time. The firemen made a number of heroic rescues, the principal of them was by Captain Thomas Smtih, of Engine 2. who, with his company, went into a building on 46th Street, the rear ot which was separated by a narrow air-shaft from the burning building. In the window of the top floor of the burning building stood a man with flames close behind him. A ladder was lowered and Smith, his men holding him by the feet, was lowered, head down, so that he could aid in saving the man. The ladder broke under his weight and he would have fallen had not Smith grabbed him, and both were drawn to safety by the firemen. There was only one alarm and the department, until the arrival of Chief Kenlon, was in command of Capt. McArthur, of Engine Co. 23, as acting battalion chief.