Owosso, MI Disastrous Fire Hits School, Apr 1900

Fatal School Fire Ruins of the School Fire

MEET DEATH IN THE FLAMES.

OWOSSO, MICH., VISITED BY A DISASTROUS FIRE.

TWO DEAD AND FIVE INJURED.

THE CITY SUFFERS A LOSS OF $150,000 BY THE BURNING OF ITS CENTRAL EDUCATIONAL BUILDING -- FIREMAN AND A PUPIL ARE KILLED.

Owosso, Mich., April 2. -- Fire destroyed $150,000 worth of school property in this city, caused the death of two and injury to five others. At 7 o'clock the city's 15,000 people witnessed the burning of the central school, the largest building in this county.

The dead: FRED ROSS, fireman; FRANK TUCKER, schoolboy.

The injured: WILL ROSS, CHARLES BEATTY, firemen; FRANK RUTLEDGE, schoolboy; FRANK DAVIS, schoolboy; SOLOMON VOGEL, schoolboy.

The fire started from a chimney burning out. Sparks flew into the belfry and down upon the dry floor of a large attic. The flames burned through the floor before being noticed. When an alarm had been sounded and the fire department responded to the call the firemen's work was ineffectural, as the schoolhouse stood on a hill and the water pressure was too slight. In two hours the building was a heap of ruins. A two-story wing was saved. When the fire seemed to be about out, FRED ROSS, his brother, WILL ROSS, and CHARLES BEATTY, all firemen, were in the corridor on the third floor of the school building getting out the hose. A fireman remarked that the west main wall seemed secure. No sooner had the words been spoken that down came the wall with a crash. A rush was made by firemen for the mass of ruins. The ROSS brothers and BEATTY could not be found. Those who were injured were found pinioned among rafters in the west wing of the building, forty feet from where they shood when the crash came. FRED and WILL ROSS and CHARLES BEATTY were carried through two floors into the basement of the building. FRED ROSS was killed instantly. The other two men were horribly mangled.
Their condition is serious and their death is expected. When the crash came, FRANK TUCKER, FRANK DAVIS, FRANK RUTLEDGE and SOLOMON VOGEL, young schoolboys, were hurrying down the stairs with arms full of books. A timber fell, knocking the boys into a corner between the main wall and the corner of a covered entrance. Bricks fell and struck the boys, killing TUCKER and stunning the others. The latter, however, jumped through a window into the basement, and were found there half an hour later, unconscious and bleeding. VOGEL may die, having received internal injuries.

The Daily Gazette Janesville Wisconsin 1900-04-02