Providence, RI Hotel Fire, Feb 1920


Two Hotel Patrons Suffocated---Third Fatally Injured in Jumping.


Thief Snatches Shoe Containing a Fruit Grower's Wallet While Latter is Fleeing From Room.

Special to The New York Times.

PROVIDENCE, R. I., Feb. 18.---Three are known to have perished in a fire early this morning which burned the three upper floors of the Hotel Lorraine in Aborn Street. Two bodies were found under debris and one man was fatally injured in jumping from a fourth floor window to an adjoining roof.

Daniel P. Warwick of Harrisville, superintendent of the Glengary Mills at Whipple, was the one fatally injured. LOUIS KUNZE, a jewelry shop foreman of Centredale, and E. F. FORBERT of Boston were suffocated and burned. The damage was estimated at $80,000.

Of the 106 patrons in the hotel 73 were checked off as survivors. There is a possibility that other bodies may be found when the debris is removed. Mr. Kunze was caught in a room on the fifth floor at the corner of the building nearest Westminster Street. He had no means of reaching a fire escape, and while spectators encouraged him to stay at the window until firemen could get a ladder to him, he was apparently overcome by smoke and succumbed.

Other patrons descended stairs and fire escapes, getting to the street by desperate efforts. Instances of heroic rescues were numerous. Captain James Ahern of the Police Inspectors' Bureau began at once gathering evidence regarding an alleged lack of fire escapes, lack of warning to patrons and the origin of the fire. Joseph V. Jordan, proprietor of the hotel, and employes[sic] were held pending the outcome of the Coroner's investigation.

The fire, according to witnesses, started in a room on the third floor, occupied by "Kid" Perry of Bristol, a boxer. Witnesses say he appeared fully dressed, exclaiming: "My room is afire!" The police had not found him late tonight.

Edward Mandelbaum, a California fruit grower, put on his overcoat over his pajamas and trousers, tucked his wallet into one of his shoes and started for the hallway. As he opened the room foor some one grabbed the shoes from his hand and ran off through the smoke. He said he was satisfied to escape with his life and his checkbook.

According to the police list there are still thirty-two of those registered at the hotel missing, but this means only that these persons have not reported their whereabouts to the police, and the posibility is that they have sought lodging elsewhere or gone to their homes. Among these are the following New Yorkers:

BLODGETT, R. S., Brooklyn.
CLARK, BERNARD C., Brooklyn.
DANIELS, C. R., Binghamton.
DONNELLY, F. J., Syracuse.
HALPIN, U., New York City.
HARRINGTON, Mr. and Mrs. J. H., New York City.
KNAPP, HERBERT J., New York City.
KRAUSHAR, JACK, New York City.
PRATT, Miss A., Richmond Hill.
PRUSIN, N., New York City.
SCHLOSS, S., New York City.
SOMERVILLE, A. A., New York City.

The New York Times, New York, NY 19 Feb 1920