San Francisco, CA Presidio Fire, Apr 1913


Frame Barracks at Presidio Occupied by Men of Sixth Infantry Destroyed.


Father Dragged From Flames While Trying to Save Wife and Children Is Led Away Under Guard to Post Prison.

SAN FRANCISCO, April 26.--- Two women and three children were burned to death in a fire that destroyed two frame barracks occupied by non-commissioned officers of the Sixth Infantry and their families at the Presidio here tonight.

The lives lost were those of the family of Sergeant Schall, his wife, her mother and his three children, aged five, seven and nine years. Schall made a frantic effort to save his family and when at length he was dragged from the burning building he lost all control of himself and was taken to the hospital under guard of four privates.

A sentry discovered the blaze shortly before midnight. The barracks, located in Tennessee Hollow, so called, in the West Cantonment, were occupied by four families. The flames swept the frame structures with the greatest rapidity and the sentry was able to give the warning in time to only three of the families. When he reached the quarters of the fourth, Schall's, its interior was a mass of flames.
Dr. Cabe and Lieutenants Hammond and Murray were the first to respond to the cries for aid. They were in time to rescue Schall from the fate of the others.

No adequate explanation of the origin of the fire could be made tonight. The great rapidity with which it spread was caused by the explosion of a quantity of gasoline stored in one of the homes.

Morning Oregonian, Portland, OR 27 Apr 1913