SOME NEW YORK FIRES.
Several different nationalities gave vent to their panicstricken cries in as many various tongues on the last night of April, when the book-bindery of Smith & Hestler, which occupied the upper three floors of the five-story brick building, Nos. 98-100 Greenwich street were gutted by fire. A first and a second alarm were turned in by Battalion Chief Cushman, after which Deputy Chief Purroy sent out two special calls for engines. From the start the flames had gained a great headway, and within a very short time the roof fell in. The water tower was on hand, but could not be used, as the Elevated railroad structure blocks up the street at this point. The good work of the firemen alone saved the bonded warehouse of Charles Griffin, at Nos. 102-104—where the stock suffered a slight damage from water, owing to the firemen having to tear off part of the roof of No. 102 and playing water therein. The same good work on the part of the department saved the saloon and double-decker tenements to the south, and in the rear of Nos. 105-107 Washington street,which were filled with a motley crowd of Greeks, Syrians, Jews, and Irish, many of whom were so scared that they refused to move and had to be carried out by the police. Others insisted on carrying their beds and trunks (the Greek push-cart peddlers being especially solicitous over taking out their bankbooks) with them, and lumbering up the narrow street. Chief Purroy, meanwhile, by attacking the fire from all sides and from the roof of adjoining buildings prevented its farther spread and had it out by about 10:30 p. m. The loss will amount to about $30,000. While Battalion Chief Cushman was driving to the fire Oscar Hunson, a cook, wao knocked down by his wagon and injured about the head and legs, lie was taken to Hudson street hospital.
A fire in the cellar in the rear of the four-story brick tene ment No. 450 Second avenue, late in the night of April 30, under A. Greenburgh’s well-stocked paint shop, caused a panic among the four families with their multitudinous children who occupied the upper floors. P’iremen Aberton and McQuade. of hook and ladder No. 7. raised a scaling ladder to the top floor window’, and, reaching a fire escape, rescued a woman and her four children, who had been cut off by the flames and smoke that had made their way up the air-shaft. 1 he fifth child, who had fallen insensible in the hall, was rescued by Fireman Manuel Garcia, of the same company, and carried to the street. Four of Greenburgh’s children were taken down the ladders by P’iremen J. J. Hull, W. W. Cullen, and James Pearl, also of hook and ladder No. 7. Cullen received burns on his head and face. The loss was about $3,500.
On May 4 fire broke out in the top floor of the Stevens building Nos. 14-18 Wall street, and got a good start before those in the building knew it was even alight. It made its appearance in a desk in the office of Haven & Beebe, on the fifth floor, whence it penetrated to some vacant rooms, setting fire to the furniture and the carpet. The elevator boy noticed the smoke and gave the alarm on each floor. It was, however, some time before it flashed upon any one in the building to turn in an alarm. Consequently when the lire department arrived, the fire had made such headway as 10 necessitate turning in two alarms. There were quite a number of people in the various offices at the time, including female typewriters not a few. Four of these got out on a window balcony more than too feet above the pavement, and, though badly scared, neither screamed nor fainted. With them were one or two men who had not deserted them in their time of peril. The firemen who were working on the roof above, the road to which was up an almost perpendicular slant of slate, shoved down a ladder until it reached the balcony, and, while two men held it above, William Clarke and John Clark, laddermen. and William Higgins, engineer, slid down it. They placed the girls one by one on the ladder; two held its foot, while the third steadied each young woman as she climbed. The girls then crossed to an adjoining roof and got down to the street in safety. Gen. Woodford, his partners, and his clerks, passed through the smoke and reached the roof through the scuttle. The office of Havens & Beebe was gutted—and at the same moment in one of the courts an ad” verse decision was pronounced against one of their clients. The whole damage done to building, offices, etc , will amount to about $10,000; but that does not include the loss and the injury done to many valuable deeds and papers in the burned offices.
An early morning fire took place at No. 7 East Ninety-third street in the four-story residence of II. Iloffheimer. The owner was absent in Europe; in the house, however, were his wife, children, and nephew, Harry Hartman, a boy of sixteen years of age. All were asleep when the fire broke out. but got out just in time, the flames licking up the floor and stairs behind them from the basement. Young Hartman did not awake til! the fire w-as close on his room on the third floor. His escape being cut off, he climbed out of the front window to a narrow balcony, and, aided by a policeman in the adjoining house, jumped therefrom to the corresponding balcony next door. He barely accomplished the leap. Owingtothere having been delay in sending out the alarm, when engines 22 and 53 and hook and ladder truck 13 arrived, the flames had eaten their way up the whole house through the roof, and total destruction seemed inevitable. Four powerful streams, however, soon got the blaze under; but not until all the furniture and fittings had been destroyed. As soon as the firemen broke the windows in the basement, an explosion ensued, driving the flames out a dozen feet on to the sidewalk. Captain Sanford, of fire patrol No. 3, received the full force of the explosion, and was so badly scorched as to be obliged to be taken off home for treatment. The fire apparently started in the kitchen, where it must have smouldered for hours, heavy beams nearly being almost burned through.
Since midnight on April 29 to the corresponding period on May 6, there were 63 fires in New York city.