Chicago, IL Alhambra Theatre and Hotel Fire, Feb 1904


Three Die in Partial Burning of Alhambra Theatre Building.

Chicago, Feb. 22 -- Fire to-day partially destroyed the building occupied by the Alhambra Theatre, hotel, and apartments on Archer Avenue and State and Nineteenth Streets. After the fire was extinguished the remains of three persons, two men and a woman, who had been suffocated, were found in the ruins. There were many narrow escapes. The loss is estimated at $75,000.
The Alhambra Theatre, owned by STAIR & HAVILAND, had installed new stage fittings and furnishings, and had been remodeled in compliance with the new theatre ordinance.
The fire is believed to have started from an overheated boiler in the basement of the restaurant. The smoke soon filled the halls of the upper stories, and but for the night clerk, PHILIP VINGO, the firemen asserted, there probably would have been amuch greater loss of life. He ran through the halls awakening the 200 guests. A moment later the halls were filled with half clad men and women who groped their way down stairs to the snow-covered streets and sought refuge in neighboring stores.
Fully fifty of the guests, most of them women, were carried down ladders by firemen. The three bodies were found in a room on the top floor of the building. From the position of the bodies the two men apparently had attempted to assist the woman to escape, but had been overcome by the smoke. The bodies of the men were identified as WILLIAM FISHER and FRANK BECKMAN of Cincinnati. The body of the woman was identified as that of MRS. ANNIE WELLS.

The New York Times New York 1904-02-23