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The free press. (Southern Pines, N.C.) 1898-19??, February 12, 1904, Image 2

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Uly Suffers Most Disastrous Blaze in the His
tory of the South
Out- by One tiie Great Business
limits Went Down -The heroic
Work of the Firemen-bil ious
property Losses.
Baltimore, Special. The most de
structive conflagration in the history
of Baltimore occurred here Sunday in
the wholesale dry goods business dis
trict, raging practically unchecked
during many hours, completely de
stroying scores of the largest busi
ness houses in the wholesale district,
involving losses which cannot he esti
mated, as the lire was still burning
fiercely when night fell. Owing to the
wide extent of the calamity it will be
tomorrow before even an approximate
estimate can be made, though it is
certain that it has already exceeded
$25,000,00(1. The fire was still burning
at nightfall, but was under control.
No loss of life was reported at this
The fire broke out shortly before 1 1
o'clock thi.s morning in the wholesale
dry goods .store of John T. Hurst &
Co.. on Hopkins place, in the heart
of the business district, with a series
of loud explosions, which were heard
in remote parts of the city, and spread
with fearful rapidity. In half an hour
there were a dozen big warehouses in
the wholesale dry goods and notions
district burnine fiercely. The entire
fire department was called out, but was
utterly powerless to cheek the spread
of the flames, which were aided by
the high winds, and by noon there
were savaje fires in at least 30 big
warehouses, and the conflagration was
steadily eating its way into successive
blocks," east, north, west and south.
On Baltimore street, the blocks be
tween Liberty and Sharp streets was
soon ablaze, then came the next block
east to Hanover and after that the
block on the south side to Charles
street broke out into flames, the Con
solidated Gas Company's building ana
Ochm's Acme Hall burning fiercely.
Meanwhile there were stores north
of Baltimore street being similarly
consumed. Mullin's Hotel caught an
other buildings near it caught. West
of Liberty street, on the south side
of Baltimore street, the block was
doomed, and the big bargain house al
so caught. Down in Hopkins' place
where the conflagration started.
Hurst's building and other wholesale
houses on both side of the street
trumbled and fell.
The big drv goods houses of Daniel
Miller &" Sons and H. M. Sutton &
Co. were soon aflame, and along Gor
man, street east and west, from the
Hurst buildingthere were a dozen
buildings burning.
Mass & Kemper's big wholesale
store, on Baltimore street, quickly
succumbed to the flames. On Hop
kins' place the Hopkins' Savings Bank
and the National Exchange Bank
were gutted by the flames. Across
the street were the ruins of John K.
Hurst & Co., and next to it Hechl. Jr.,
& Sons, were in flames.
All these buildings were swept away
by the flames, and the whole biock
was nothing but a cauldron of fire.
At 1:30 o'clock Mullin's Hotel, a
seven-story structure, at Liberty and
Baltimore streets, was in flames from
garret to cellar and its great, height
and narrowness acted as a torch. All
the guests had been ordered out. and
none, consequently, was injured.
.Though every bit of fire-fighting ap
paratus in the city was called into
requisition as the flames continued to
00,000,000 F
spread, at 10 o'clock six engines ar
rived from 'Washington and four from
Philadelphia. It is roughly estimated
that there were 850 hose playing oh
different parts of the conflagration at
the same time.
Wall after wall toppled into the
streets, and firemen ran for their lives.
All kinds of wires had to be cut to
clear the way for the fire fighters. The
block bounded by Gorman, Liberty,
Baltimore and Sharp streets was
early found to be doomed, and the
firemen turned their attention to sav
ing the buildings on Baltimore street,
east of Sharp, but the fire was beyond
their control.
Red hot cinders ignited the roof of
Front Street Theatre at least half a
mile from the main conflagration,
which shows to what distance the
fiery rain fed. The blaze was ex
tinguished by the firemen, assisted by
For a time considerable alarm was
felt at the City Hospital. The Sisters
of Mercy in charge of the institution
were all at their posts, and an effort
was made to keep the fa'1 of the cou
few cinders fell on the roof of the hos
fiagration a secret iiom the patients. A
pital, but were extinguished by the
physicians of the house staff.
Eighteen women, two babies and
seven nurses were taken from the
Maternity Hospital, on West Lombard
street, in police ambulances and given
quarters at the city hospital. A woman
who was ill in bed with typhoid fever
ws.s taken to the city hospital.
The whole city was notified of the
conflagration by a terrific explosion,
which occurred some minutes after 11
o'clock A sharp, spitting roar went
up with reverberating thunder. This
was followed by a peculiar whistling
noise like that made by a shrill wind.
The churches in the central part of
the city were filled with worshippers,
many of whom were frightened, and.
while uo panics ensued hundreds of
men and women went outside to see
what had happened, In a few moments
the streets and pavements all over the
city were crowded with excited people.
Another deafening crash occurred, and
dense columns of cinders and smoke
shot up over the . tral section of
the city, and in a huge brown column
moved rapidly toward the northeast.
Borne on the strong southeast wind
the column of smoke, blazing cinders
and even pieces of tin roofing spread
over the center of the city, and a rain
of cinders fell, compelling pedestrians
to doge red hot pieces of wood.
Two more explosions followed, and
thousands of people hurried to the
scene of the fire. Of all the specta
tors, comparatively few saw the fae
itself. They could not get within half a
block of it. Even the policemen guard
ing the approaches to the fire had to
shift their positions repeatedly and
dodge falling cinders. Pieces of tin
C by S feet square were lifted into the
air by the teritlc heat, sailed upward
like paper kites, and when they
readied a point beyond the scene of
the most intense beat, fell clattering
to the Streets.
The awful fire which swept Baltimo e
all day Sunday, all Sunday night, Mon
day and Monday night with a fury that
seemed tme-ontrolable, was reported as
practically over early Tuesday morn
ing. The heroic- work of the city's
splendid fire department, aided by fire
fighters from Philadelphia, Annapolis,
Wilmington and New York at last con
quered (tie destroyer, making a last
stand at Jones' Falls, when the fire lost
its power to wreak further vengeance
upon the helpless city.
Dynamite was used freely. Tho fire
apparatus was centered and all the skill
of the fire-fighters called into olay (o
defeat the element that had eaten mil.
Pons of dollars' worth of property.
The fire was checked. Behind it lay a
great gutted waste of mere than 140H
acres in extent.
Every street that led to the fire area
was crowded with awe-stricken specta
tors. Down the narrow gulch-like
streets the black smoke hung densely,
split now and then by a red glare o
flame. The (-rash of falling buildings
was lost in the roar' of exploding dyna
mite, as it was used to demolish struc
tu . es as vet untouched by fire.
The burned area is a scene of com
plete devastation. Numberless build,
ins' that. wete the pride of Baltimore
costly and stately, and occupied for.
all kinds of business are a mass of
ruins. The Baltimore American build
ing, one of the finest in the city, is
now smouldering debris, save for the
remnants and the front and side walls.
For acres, on South street, where stood
The Sun building, the pillars that once
marked the front only remain. Entire
blocks just below there are wiped out
without, in some cases( a wall left
standing. From Fayette street down
Hoiliday street, as far as German, there
is no building left, save the corn and
flour exchange, at the corner of Ger
man street. That building, whose walls
tower above the crumbling debris of
what were formerly adjoining struc
tures, was gutted and formed a caldron
of fire. In numerous other wrecked
buildings the flames played about the
debus and threatened to weaken the
foundations of the few walls that were
The costly United States custom
house was ruined. Most of the busi
ness section of the city was totally
burned out.
PLOYMENT. Col. J. Frank Supplee, a competent
authority on factory statistics, esti
mates that the number of persons who
are thrown out of employment will
reach 50,000. Others have estimated
the enforced idleness at greatly more.
-Inspector of Buildings Preston, after
n-aking a caieful study of the burned
district, placed the building loss at
About 75 squares, or 140 acres, are in
ashes, extending from Lexington street,
on the north, to Pratt street, on the
soiutr, from Liberty, on the west, to
the Falls, on the east.
The city was early placed under mar
tial law, and thus all danger of looting
in the doomed district was eliminated.
Word was received tonight that Gen.
Corbin, of New York, would be here
Tuesday to take command of the Fed
eral troops. The presence of two regi
ments of militia as an adjunct to the
police, which were augmented by de
tails from Philadelphia and Washing
ton, resulted in the maintenance of the
best of urder.
The; Mouses That Went Dow n In Big
Baltimore Fire.
Baltimore. Special. The following is
the latest list of the business places
destroyed, with a rough estimate of the
losses, where obtainable. Where several
firms a-e grouped the loss is the total
to the building:
John E, Hurst, dry goods, $1,500,000;
over $1,000,000 in insurance.
William Koch Importing Company,
loss $150,000.
Samuel T). Goldberg, pants; F. &
Charles Burger, clothing. $75,000.
The Daniel Miller Company, dry
goods, $1,500,000; carry more than $1..
000,000 in insurance on contents.
Dixon-Bartlett Company, hats and
caps. $100,000.
Spragins, Buck fe Company, shoes.
Cohen, Adb- Shoe Company, $125,
000. L. S. i-'itemau, ladies' wrappers; Ja
cob R. Seligman, paper, and Nathan
Rosen, ladies' cloaks. $100,000.
Morton, Sim u els & Company, boots
and shoes, and Strauss Brothers, stor.
;:ge. $100,000.
Baltimore Rubber Company, $135,000.
Guggenheimer. Weil & Company,
lithographers and printers, $125,000.
M. Friedman & Son, clothing, and F.
ScMeuenes, cloths. $150,000.
Swartz Toy Company. $100,000.
A Federlicht & Sons, cloths. $75,000.
WhUaker & Sons, $15,000.
C. J. Stewart & Sons, hard war,
O'Connell & Bannon. saloons, $25,GQw.
National Exchange Bank building,
$75,000; contents $50,000.
Lowman & Company, clothing1,
John E. Hurst & Company, storage,
Fincllay, Roberts & Company, hard
ware, $75,000.
Lawrence & Gold Shoe Company
and Bates Hat Company, $125,000.
S. Ginsberg & Company, clothing:,
Winkiemanu dt Brown, dry goods
company, $125,000.
R. H. Sutton & Company, dry goods,
Chesapeake Shoe Company, $100,000,.
S. F. & A. F. Miller, clothing manu
facturers, $150,000.
S. Halel & Company, boots and shoes.
Strauss Brothers, dry goods, $250,000..
A. C. Meyer & Company, patented
yarns, $75,000.
Strauss, Eiscman & Company, shirt
manufacturers, $150,000.
North Brothers & Strauss, building,
$7.,000; stock about $75,000.
Standard Suspender Company anci
Daniel A. Boone & Company, liquors.
Bradley. Kirk-man, Reese Co., paper?
McDonald & Fisher, wholesale paper,
Wiley, Bruster & Co., dry goods, and
F. W. & E. Dammann cloths, $125,000,
Henry Oppenheimer & Co., clothing-,.,
and Van Sant, Jacobs. & Co., shirts,
Joseph R. Stonebreaker & Co., li
quors, $75,000.
Lewis, Latter & Co., shirts, $100,000..
Champion Shoo Manufacturing Co,r
and Diggs, Curwin & Co., shoes, $100.
000. Mendel Brothers, ladies' wrappers,
Blankenburg. Gehrnian &. Co., tui
tions. $125,000.
Leon, Keen fc Co., ladies' cloaks,,
ond Henry Pretzfeh'ler & Co.. boots
and shoes, $125,000.
Hopkins Plar-e Savings Bank, $75,
000. Cohen it Samuels, hats and caps-.
Farnold & Sons, surgical instru
ments, $00,000.
Michael Aubach & Sons, clothing-,
Marburg Brothers, tobacco, $100,000.
United Shirt and Collar Co., $50,000.
Mack Brothers & Mack, clothing,
and John A. Griffith & Co., tailors
trimmings, $00,000.
Standard Manufacturing Co., aud
Elias Coplan, neckwear, manufactur
ers, $75,000.
Reliable Pants Manufacturing Co.,.
clothing, and T. M. Levering, drug
gists' supplies, $75,000.
Simeon Neubergeg & Brother, dry
goods, $100,000.
S. M. Flescher, ladies and gents, fur
nishings. $75,000.
D. H. Wallerstein, millinery, $50,000..
The Bminard Armstrong Co., silks,
and Cartel-, Webster & Co., $50,000.
Vogts. Quasf & Co.. clothing, $75.
000. Woodin. Baldwin & (Jo., dry goods,
Bonldin Brothers, notions, $150,000.
Edward Jenkins & Sons coacb
and harness makers' supplies, $150,000.
Johnson, Boyd &. Co.. notions, $200,
000. Until icum Huber Co.. $125,000.
M. I. Blum & Brother, clothing,
S. Kirkman fz Brother, clothing.
Edward Jenkins & Sons, storage.,
and Lapley & Brother Co., storage,
window shades. $15,000.
Phil F. Gehrrman & Co., lace auto
embroideries, and Phillips Brother
Co., drv goods. $200,000.
Anion Green & Co.. cotton $75,000,
(and other offices.)
Sadler Rowe & Co.. books- and sta
tionery, $50,000.
George Mayo, manufacturer and pro
prietary medicines, $50,000.
Van Zandt. Jacobs & Co., shirts.
Capan fc Greenbaum, clothing and!
crucible steel company, $50,000.
Carey, Bain & Smith, dry goods,,
and' F. R. Kent, spool cotton, and
thread, $(10,000.
Oehm's Acme Hall. $150,000.
Consolidated Gas Co., $100,000.
Armstrong, Cator & Co., notions
and millinery, $500,000.
Weigart & Co., shoes; Stelger Bros.,
trunks; Dowell, Helm & Co.. storage,
find M. & J. Oppenheimer & Sons, jew
elry. $100,000.

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