Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
I got back to the top floor, Mr.
Rau (foreman) had helped Ber
tha Servati get through the win
dow. I went through the win
dow and jumped. Mr. Rau came
"So far as I know there were
storm windows on all the win
dows. "We never were given instruc
tions about what to do in case of
fire. I am under a doctor's care
Mrs. Shamplan was pale and
weak. She tottered down from
the stand. Bertha Servati took
her place, and she was being
sworn, when there was a sudden
,Mrs. Shamplan had fainted and
crumpled up on the floor.
Her husband and another man
carried" her into an adjoining
room. T. C. Riordan, seated be
side his lawyer, smiled.
Moans and little cries of an
guish came from the rext room.
Mrs. Shamolan was cominp- to.
There were sounds of a chouced
throat. The horror of the fire
was upon the woman. The jurors
caught a glimpse of a woman
vomiting. Mr. Riordan's, smile
Bertha Rose Servati, of 1324
West Fifteenth street, held up a
bandaged stump of a hand to be
sworn. She is just out of the
Park AveifUe hospital. As she
gave her testimony her chin
quivered; her lips trembled. It
seemed as if she were going to
break down as Mrs. Shamplan
had broken down.
"I heard Joe call; 'Get your
clothes, fire!' I started down
stairs. The smoke was rolling up
thickly. I fell. I got up and start
ed to go back. I fell again near
the top. Mr. Rau lifted me up
the last two steps.
"Then I don't know what
except that I got over to the win
dow somehow. I broke the win
dows with just my hand. I broke
a hole big enough to crawl
through. I got glass in my arms.
The doctors made incisions and
took out the glass."
The girl began to sob in a sup
pressed, pitiful way. She raised
her sleeve and showed the scars
where her arms had been cut.
After a few minutes she was able
to go on.
"Mr. Rau helped me break the
window after I got started. It
was the only way for us to get
out. Thick, black smoke was roll
ing up from both stairways. t I
knew there was no fire escape. I
have worked there nine years. I
knew the windows were nailed. I
have seen the man who comes
each year and puts on the storm
windows and nails them down- I
looked to find something to break
the window with. I couldn't see
anything and all the time the
smoke was coming thicker and
thicker. I stooped and felt around
the floor. But there was nothing.
"So I I just took my hand
and smashed the window and
my wrist is broken."
Attorney Curran, for the Rior
dan company, tried to get the girl
to say the man who nailed the
windows was hired by the owners
of the building, and therefore,