Winnipeg, MB Warehouse Blaze, Mar 1912

Remains of Building Debris

FIVE DIE WHEN WALL FALLS DURING WAREHOUSE BLAZE.

WINNIPEG (MANITOBA) FIRE SWEEPS INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER BUILDING AND SPREADS TO ADJOINING STRUCTURES.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, March 9. -- Five persons were killed and many injured during the progress of a fire which started in the immense brick warehouse of the International Harvester Company tonight. The loss is placed at $750,000.
A wall of the warehouse was blown out by an explosion, trapping a fire-fighting party. Three of the dead men were firemen. The warehouse was filled with valuable farming machinery.
The Canadian Pacific Railroad Station and the Royal Alexandra Hotel were menaced by the flames. Later the fire spread to the city power plant, which was so badly damaged that at least half of the city is in darkness.
Every fire-fighting crew in the city is at work and every ambulance is on the scene. It is feared the disaster will increase in magnitude, as the fire is not yet under control.

The Indianapolis Star Indiana 1912-03-10

--------------------------------------------------------

SEVEN PERISH IN WINNIPEG BLAZE.

FIREMAN AND SPECTATORS CRUSHED WHEN EXPLOSION SHATTERS WALL OF BUILDING.

POLICE SUSPECT INCENDIARY.

CAPTAIN ESCAPES INJURY, WHILE AIDS PERISH AT SIDE UNDER TONS OF DEBRIS.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, March 10. -- Seven persons are dead, one is possibly mortally injured and a number suffered serious injuries as the result of an explosion during a fire in the rear of the Radford Wright Company, Limited, wholesale sash and door factory, late last night. Capt. DEWITT and six firemen were training hose on the back of the building where the fire, supposed to be the work of an incendiary, had started to lean to annex, when a back wall was blown out.
The little party went down in wreckage, which also caught and overwhelmed several spectators and pssersby.
"I was standing on a plank directing operations," said Capt. DEWITT, "and had a miraculous escape. Firemen McPHERSON and MOLYNEAUX were killed at my feet, while not another man of our squad escaped uninjured."

Boy Among Dead.
"Tons of brick and doors fell round us. The men were caught without a chance to escape."
The dead:
E. MOLYNEAUX, fireman.
CHARLES McPHERSON, fireman.
WALTER ROWLEY, teamster.
LEO J. BLUETT, bartender.
CHARLES CHAPMAN, 12 years old.
CLARENCE WINKER, Canadian Pacific railway employe.
_______ CONNOLLY, Canadian Pacific railway employe.
The man probably fatally injured is A. NARANUE, who was watching the fire.
Until the explosion came the firemen appeared to have the situation under control.

The Indianapolis Star Indiana 1912-03-11

Comments

Charles Chapman

The 12 year old killed in the fire was my great uncle. His brother, John T Chapman, who was 3 years older than he was, was my grandfather. Charles and his older brother Joseph went to watch the fire when the explosion occurred. Joseph was caught behind the ear by a falling electrical wire and was thrown out and into the street by the jolt of electricity. His brother Charles was not so lucky and was crushed under the falling brick wall of the exploding building. He is buried in Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was one of eleven children of George and Mary Jane Chapman.