THE FATAL FIRE AT NEW YORK.|1878-01-12|The Cardigan Observer and General Advertiser for the Counties of Cardigan Carmarthen and Pembroke - Welsh Newspapers Online
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THE GUILDHALL LIBRARY.

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THE FATAL FIRE AT NEW YORK.

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THE FATAL FIRE AT NEW YORK. The New York papers, per the Germanic, give de- bails of the disastrou» fire at :MflS9nj! Greenfield's con- fectionery establishment, Barclay, street, by which between fifty and sixty lives were sacrificed. The New York Herald of Dec. 21 says: Greenfield and Son's confectionery store. No. 63, Barclay-street, was destroyed by fire last evening, occasiened, it is said, by the explosion of the boiler in the basement. The engineer and his assistant were, in all probability, killed. Thirty-five, persons were badly injured—eighteen are reported as miss- ing. There were a great many hands employed in the establishment, and fears are entertained for the safety of some who may not have been engaged for list night. Tomkin's paper warehouse and English's boarding-house adjoining were also des- troyed. No just appraisal of the property could be obtained last night; all that was definitely known was that Mr. Greenfield's stock was valued at S100,000. The first Rlarm of the fire was at five o'clock in the evening, when people were about winding up the business of the day in the stores and counting-rooms in Barclay-street. Some were hurrying towards the car lines and Broadway others were en route to the ferries on the North River. The street, too, was filled as usual with itinerant vendors of nicknacks and Yankee notions; in shert Barclay-street was at its busiest period. On the corner of Col ego-place stands the Grocers' Bank; a few doors below is Ernest Greenfield and Co., confectioners, No. 63, Barclay-street. While horses, carts, and men were passing to and fro a sudden explosion rent the air, the startled people lookod towards the street and saw the front of Greenfield's premises rock and, split- ting, pitch forward into the middle of the street. In a moment the flames leaped forth from the ruins and enveloped the buildings adjoining. Very speedily the conflagration assumed dangerous and threatening proportions as if by magic. The crowds in the streets caught the whispered statement that there were hun- dreds of boys and girls employed in the establishment, and that most of them were buried beneath the ruins. The alarm was given without delay, and the fire bri- gade with engines and ladders were soon on the spot. A mass of spectators surged in and eut of College- place in frantic endeavours to see or touch the fugitives from the burnihg building, when the clamour of the bells ef the approaching fire engines warned them to clear the way. Cap- tain M*Laughlin and Assistant Fireman Murray got streams upon the burning houses at once, and ladders were placed against their sides. Daring fire- men mounted them in quest of fainting or half- smothered inmates, while other brave fellows dashed in through the open doors and tried to mount the stairways; but there is no record that any of these bold efforts were crowned with success. All who had the good fortune to escape were out of the build- ing before the firemen got into it. Those who perished were dead a few minutes after the explosion. And now the fire had gained tremendous headway. The building immediately adjoining Greenfield and Son's stores, occupied by Tomkin's paper factory now engaged the attention of the firemen. The battle between them and this store was brief, the flames devouring the inside of it with frightful rapidity. Meanwhile, the fire had been busy at the extreme corner of the building which forms the angle ef College-place and Barclay-street. Nothing here seemed for a time to check ita fury. It forced its way along the cornice and top storey of this building, and uniting its huge lambent tongues with the flames already at work inside swept in a fearful-looking curved stream of fire round into the windows of the building, the ground floor of which is occupied by the Grocers' Bank. Here the devouring element, as though its appetite were thoroughly whetted, ate out the whole of the top storey in an incredibly short space of timei It was now evident that the critical moment, had come. The bank stood alone, a brown rock in a sea of fire; the rooms were lit up with vivid tongues in flame, and every article in them could be seen by these in the streets, on the housetops, and from the windows of adjacent houses. It was evident that unless the endeavours of the firemen should be redoubled the whole block would be destroyed. To prevent this the stores in Greenwich-street were opened and hose run through to the rears, where, there was communication by window with the Greenfield establishment. The white ambulances came and went ili charge of the surgeons, bearing the bodies of living sufferers from different drug stores in the neighbourhood, and some of them stood waiting for the bodies of the dead that had not yet been found. Several firemen were burnt in their eagerness to check the fire, and were attended to on the ground; but none of them as far as could be learned went to the hospital. The surgeons in most instances merely accompanied the injured employes to the hospital, where their sufferings were attended to. About seven o'clock the boarding-house of Mrs. English fell in, and came very near burning a couWp of firemen who were standing on a ladder reared againstit; they had only just got down with the hose when the building caved in, and the ladder toppled over with the ruins. The Grocers' Bank, though badly damaged, was as a building safe, as were also the other houses in the block the fire had only ravaged the L shaped pro- perty, the Tomkins and English establishments, and portions of some of the adjacent buildings. Not a body had yet been discovered, and as the fire seemed to be dying out President King, of the Fire Department, and Chief Bates began to turn their attention to searching tor those who it was expected were in the cUbris.

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