SERIOUS FIRE IN HUYLER’S FACTORY
Late in the evening of December II, the firemen of the New York city department had a stubborn three-hour fight in the ten-story Huyler chocolate factory at Eighteenth street and Irving place, Manhattan. It was a bad fire enough; but it was chiefly remarkable for the fact that many emergency hospital doctors risked their lives to save those of a number of firemen who had been stricken down by the noxious fumes arising from the mingled chocolate, sugar, paper and pasteboard boxes that were burning. The same credit must be given to members of the police force who were on duty on the scene and to the two fire chaplains, all of whom took their lives in their hands while heedfully ministering to the necessities of the firemen. It was one moving pane rama of doctors, policemen and priests hurryscurrying to and fro. picking up some score of unconscious firemen, working over them, or driving the ambulances at breakneck pace to the hos pital. Several of the doctors were themselves overcome by the smoke and fumes, and the others were kept busy either in an upper room, where the water from the engines was far above their ankles or in an extemporised clinic outside. The girls, who were working overtime, instead of fainting, marched out in orderly fashion, showing the benefit of the fire-drill system to which they had been subjected. Quite thirty firemen were overcome, of whom seven, with a policeman, suffered very severely. The condition of Lieut. Henry Uster. of engine company No. 14, who, with Vernon McKenna, of the same company’, and Charles Thole, of engine company 25, was taken to Bellevue, and was considered in a very critical state. About 700 girls working over time, were on the fifth floor, when the automatic fire-alarm went off on the ninth floor, and the whole stairway was filled with a dense and pungent smoke arising from the burning pasteboard boxes and other supplies, under the influence of which the firemen dropped like ninepins. Battalion Chief Skelly had his work more than set in looking after the safety of his men and the fire. Fireman Fitzpatrick, of engine company No. 14 had dragged Lieut. Uster to an open window and was himself in a bad way, as was Fireman Trumbeer of the same company, and, when the men of engine companies Nos. 5 and 16 and trucks 3 and 10, went to the rescue of their comrades of engine company No. 14, dragging a line of hose after them, they found six, including Lieut. Haney, lying unconscious on the floor. The ambulance driver had been sent for ointment by the doctors, who were working in a room in which the water had risen 6 ins. On that a policeman drove the ambulance furiously to Bellevue .with one unconscious fireman and back again to the scene before he was missed, thereby saving the life of Fireman McKenna— whose condition was most serious. The men Continued falling and had to be carried by their comrades down nine flights of stairs. All were hardly out of the top floors before the stairway between the eighth and ninth floors fell, and the men were lowered on ladders, till the doctor, by threatening to have the elevator man arrested, if he refused any longer to do h.’s duty, compelled him to get to work. Meanwhile, the flames leaped across the alleyway from the Huyler roof to that of a five-story tenement in the rear on East Seventeenth street, but were soon extinguished. By rT:30 the Huyler blaze was under control, though it was still blazing fiercely. During the thickest of the fight Fire Chaplains Wade and Sullivan made frequent trips up to the burning floor, where among other works of mercy, the last rites of the Church were administered to Firemen Reilly and Schaeffer. The cause of the fire is unknown. It was controled by streams thrown from adjacent buildings. The loss was about $30,000.