Omaha, NE Millard Hotel Fire, Fireman Perish, Feb 1933

Millard Hotel

SIX FIREMEN AT OMAHA DIE IN $250,000 BLAZE.

A SEVENTH IS MISSING AND 17 OTHERS ARE REPORTED TO BE INJURED.

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN HOTEL IS DESTROYED.

FIGHT FLAMES IN TEMPERATURES RANGING DOWN TO 15 BELOW ZERO.

Omaha, Feb. 9 -- (AP) -- Six firemen were killed, one was missing and 17 others were injured in a spectacular fire that destroyed the four story Millard Hotel, historic downtown landmark, early today, during a 15 below zero temperature. The loss was estimated at $250,000.

After five hours work, only the body of Captain ED SMITH had been recovered from the ruins. He had been killed in the collapse of a rear wall which buried him and at least three others.

Two more were buried under debris in the basement. Senior Captain GEORGE COGAN, brother of Fire Chief PATRICK COGAN, and Fire Inspector CLARENCE URBAN were trapped after an explosion brought the roof down on them as they stood on the first floor carrying them to the cellar. Fireman WALTER HOYE, who had entered the shop with them was rescued an hour later.

W. S. RATHBUN, of Chicago, representative of the National Board of Fire Underwriters, had been inspecting the building with URBAN and left a few seconds before the cave-in.
Rescuers talked with COGAN but were unable to reach him or URBAN, and at 7 a.m. little hope was held that they would be rescued alive. Chief COGAN led rescuers in an effort to save his brother, and stimulants passed down to him in the hope it might minimize the effect of the 15 below zero temperature in which firemen were working.

The three missing, almost certainly dead, were Captain THOMAS SHANDY, Pipeman JOHN G. BRANDT and Fireman FRANKLIN KANE. They were on a ladder in an alley working with SMITH, when the rear wall collapsed and presumably buried them.
Several fractured legs were listed among the injuries, and most of the casualties suffered from severe chills or cuts and bruises.

HARRY WEINER, proprietor of the four story brick structure, estimated the loss at $250,000. All of the 45 guests were believed accounted for this morning.

Jefferson City Post-Tribune Missouri 1933-02-09

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HOTEL FIRE IS FATAL TO SIX.

SEVENTH FIREMAN BELIEVED KILLED AS $200,000 DAMAGE IS SUSTAINED IN OMAHA CONFLAGRATION.

Omaha, Neb., Feb. 9. -- (UP) -- A spectacular $200,000 fire that destroyed the Millard Hotel here today claimed the lives of six firemen.
Fire officials listed the dead as Captains THOMAS SHANDE and EDWARD SMITH; Firemen GEORGE BRANDT, FRANK KANE, LOUIS MOROCCO and Inspector CLARENCE URBAN.
A seventh man, Fireman JOHN COGAN, failed to answer company roll call. His comrades feared he was buried in the ruins of the hotel.
Captain GEORGE COGAN, brother of Fire Chief Patrick Cogan, was rescued after he had lain pinned under a girder for six hours.
Bodies of SHANDE, BRANDT and KANE still were buried beneath 10 feet of debris from a fallen wall in an alley at the rear of the hotel. SMITH was killed by falling debris.
URBAN and MOROCCO were thrown into the basement of the building as they started on an exploratory tour. They, too, still were missing. COGAN was plunged into the basement. He called to other firemen and told them of his plight.
Rescuers were unable to move him. He was given stimulants. For six hours his fellow firemen worked at the girder before he was released.
For a time communication was maintained with URBAN. He told his comrades he was pinned beneath a timber.
Finally his voice ceased.

Daily Times- News Burlington North Carolina 1933-02-09