Chicago, IL Sanford and Trude Buildings Fire, Feb 1902

Panic in a Twelve Story Building

The fire on Randolph street destroyed the Sanford building and almost caused a panic among the occupants of the twelve-story Trude building, which adjoined the burning structure, and among employes [sic] of the cloak factory of Marshall, Field & Co.

So rapid was the spread of the flames and so dense the smoke, that the occupants of neighboring buildings fled hurriedly to the street.

In the Trude building several hundred pupils of the Chicago business college marched out in good order.

One woman, almost suffocated, was carried out by the firemen.

Several firemen were hurt by falling bricks.

The damage in the Randolph street fire was $60,000.

San Jose Mercury News, San Jose, CA 7 Feb 1902


Destructive Fires in Chicago, Many Explosions

Chicago, Feb 7. – Fire that threatened the destruction of hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of property and created a panic among thousands of workers, started this morning in the Sanford building, a four story structure at 38 Randolph street, occupied by the George Watson Paint and Oil company, and the Rosche Piano and Organ company. After a desperate three hours’ battle with the flames which succeeded in spreading to the Trude building, a ten-story office structure, the fire was under control. Loss is placed at $250,000.

A half hour after the fire was discovered the Sanford building was a mass of flames and there was no hope of saving it, the energies of the firemen being directed toward preventing the destruction of the Trude building. In this building there were hundreds of men and women and when the flames were communicated to it, there was a panic and many women fainted.

Terrific explosions of paint and oil served to heighten the fear of the entire neighborhood and almost every building on the block was deserted. The firemen feared that further explosions would endanger the Marshall-Field building with its stock valued at a million or more, and the employes [sic] of the concern were warned to get out of the building. A semi-panic prevailed here when the firemen ran from floor to floor giving the warning, but no one was hurt in the rush to get out. The Sanford building collapsed at 10 o’clock, smothering the flames, but the explosions continued. The fire at the Trude was extinguished after a loss of about $85,000.

Wilkes-Barre Times, Wilkes-Barre, PA, 7 Feb 1902