St. Louis Firemen Trapped in Burning Building
Three firemen were injured seriously and a store of others were hurt less seriously or overcome by smoke while fighting fire which destroyed the building and stock of the Newcomb Bros. Wall Paper Company, St. Louis. Mo., a few days ago. The loss on stock and buildings amounted to $125,000, it was said. Almost the entire fire department was on the scene and prevented the fire spreading to adjoining buildings. Edward Burbeek. Morris McGee and Thomas Butler, were injured when the second-story floor gave waywhile they and other firemen were on that floor directing streams of water on the flames. Burbeck was hurled almost to the first floor, but was prevented from landing there by timbers which caught and held him just clear of the first floor. Butler piunged all the way to the first floor and was buried under the wreckage. McGee was prevented from toppling through the floor by a fellow fireman, who grasped him by the hair and held him until other members of the department came to his assistance. The other firemen who were hurt were injured when they rushed from the Vine street side of the building after roof and floors had fallen in. When the outer w-all began to bulge Chief Swigley gave orders that the men fall back from the building. There was a general rush, during which about a dozen firemen fell. They were trampled on by other firemen who were hurrying from the scene of possible collapse. The firemen who were overcome by smoke were chiefly those who were on a fire escape on the Vine street side of the building directing streams of water into the burning building. So intense was the smoke that every few seconds one of the firemen would fall back upon the landing of the fire escape and remain there until the water pouring upon him would revive him Albert Schuebein, 17 years old. discovered the tire when attending to his duties in the basement. Despite the fact that Engine Company No. 2 is only a short distance from the building, members of the company realized that the building was doomed when they reached the scene. They gained partial control of the flames and then turned their attention to saving the buildings next door. By that time other fire apparatus had appeared and the general fight was begun. During the fight to save adjoining buildings five lines of hose were run through the doors of the first floor of the Prugrock-Litton Furniture Company’s store and up to the second floor. Firemen played water on the fire from the second-story windows. The fire started in the freight elevator shaft in the rear of the building and spread quickly to the remainder of the structure. The cause has not been ascertained.
Brownville, N. Y., is to organize a fire department. It has had a ladder truck for some years, and the mills provide a water supply from their pumps, but it never has had an organized fire department.