Louisville, KY Tobacco Warehouse Fire, Feb 1898

A COSTLY SMOKE.

NATIONAL TOBACCO WAREHOUSE AT LOUISVILLE, KY., BURNED.

THREE MEN WERE SERIOUSLY INJURED, TWO OF WHOM MAY DIE.

HUNDREDS OF OTHERS WERE ENDANGERED -- THE LOSS WILL BE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF ONE MILLION DOLLARS, FULLY INSURED -- MANY PERSONS OUT OF WORK.

Louisville, Ky., Feb. 26 -- Picking, drying and steaming warehouses of the National Tobacco Co., situated at Twenty-fourth and Main Streets, were totally destroyed by fire Friday morning. The loss will amount to $1,000,000, fully covered by insurance. Mr. W. R. Duke, of New York, president of the American Tobacco Co., of which the National Tobacco Co., of Louisville, is a branch, is in the city and witnessed the destruction of his property. He said that it would be at once rebuilt.
The fire was discovered at 8 o'clock on the second floor of the building used for drying purposes. Three alarms called the entire department to the scene, and although the firemen worked heroically they could do little less than save the property adjoining, as the three big buildings which occupy nearly the entire square between Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth and Main and Market Streets were seen to be inevitably doomed.
From the three-story drying building the flames spread rapidly west to the four-story warehouse and east to the three-story steaming house. In the building which first caught 200 hands, mostly women and children, were employed, but the majority of these escaped safely, only a few being slightly injured, as did 200 who were at work in the steaming building. In the four-story warehouse 1,000 men were at work, but they had plenty of time to escape.
Three men were hemmed in by the flames and all were more or less injured before they could make their egress from the burning plant.
The injured are:
GEORGE TISSHENDORFF, foreman picking department, back injured and severe injuries about head and chest.
WILLIAM SEMPLE, picker, skull fractured.
JOHN PACKHAM, both legs broken and internally injured.
SEMPLE and PECKHAM will probably die.
The flames gained rapid headway and the fire department the employes of this building began to make their escape in an orderly manner, but GEORGE TISSHENDORF, foreman of two of the floors, and JOHN PACKHAM and WILLIAM SEMPLE remained too long in the burning building and were forced to jump for their lives. PARKHAM and SEMPLE sustained injuries which will probably result in their death.
Fourteen hundred men, women and children are thrown out of employment. The origin of the fire is unknown. The night watchman, LEWIS LEACH, said that he left the building to go home at 6 o'clock, and that everything was all right then.
The force of employes go to work at 6:30 and it was not until after they had been at work about two hours and a half that the fire was discovered.
The loss will be in the neighborhood of $1,000,000.

Daily Public Ledger Maysville Kentucky 1898-02-26