San Jose, CA Union Lodging House Fire, May 1907

EIGHT MEET DEATH IN FLAMES

Fire Destroys Large Lodging House at San Jose, Cal. -- Police Digging the Ruins for Bodies -- Many Persons Are Missing.

San Jose, Cal. May 25. -- At least eight persons were burned to death early to-day by a fire that destroyed the Union Lodging House. Many others are missing.

The fire started in the rear of FREDERICK BROWN'S commission store in North Market street, near St. James, and soon spread to G.W. LAFERTY'S livery stable and to the Union Lodging House above the stable. There were 40 lodgers sleeping in the union house and they were awakened by the 20 terrified horses in the stable which were hemned [sic] in and stampeder [sic] by the flames.

Rushing into the halls in their night garments, the lodgers groped their way through the choking, blinding smoke, led by the voices of the firemen. Many of the lodgers made their escape. The police are digging [?] the ruins for the bodies, as rapidly as the heat will permit.

Charlotte Daily Observer, Charlotte, NC 26 May 1907

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LIVES LOST IN THE LODGING HOUSE FIRE EARLY THIS MORNING
EVIDENCE SHOWS BLAZE WAS INCENDIARY

A fire of undoubted incendiary origin which broke out in the rear of LAVERTY'S STABLE on North Market street this morning, destroyed the buildings at 145 and 147 North Market street and resulted in the death of at least one and probably more of the occupants.

This morning the body of JOHN MCDONALD, an old time resident of San Jose was taken from the ruins and it is feared that there are other remains in the smouldering [sic] pile of debris which marks the spot where the buildings formerly stood.

The burned buildings were occupied by JOHN LAVERTY'S stable, the Union Lodging house, conducted by NICK BOGDANOVICH and FREDERICK BROWN'S feed and grain store.

BURNED QUICKLY
The fire was discovered shortly after 3 o'clock and had already gained great headway. When the alarm was given the whole rear portion of the building occupied by LAVERTY'S stable was in flame and by the time the firemen reached the scene the blaze was climbing to the floor above.

Here were slumbering nearly half a hundred roomers in immediate danger of their lives. The firemen first devoted their attention to saving those in the building and a score of persons, garbed only in their night clothes were taken from the windows.

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