Chicago, IL Adams Street Fire, Jan 1908

One Killed and Thirty Hurt in Chicago Blaze

Chicago, Jan. 28.- One fireman was killed and 30 were injured early today while fighting a spectacular blaze at 163-167 Adams street, which caused an estimated loss of $500,000. The flames started in the basement of the W.P. Dunn Company, 163 Adams street, and before they could be controlled had wrecked the printing plant, which is owned by Ald. Dunn of the Twenty-fifth ward, destroyed the Florence hotel, driving 150 guests, panic stricken, into the icy street and caused a large loss to a dozen other business houses in the fire swept buildings. The fireman who was killed is JAMES GALLAGHER, truckman of hook and ladder company No. 1, stationed in Lasalle, near Harrison street. With the other members of his company and with members of companies No. 13 and 6, GALLAGHER was on the top floor fighting the flames, when suddenly either the rear wall or a portion of the roof caved in. Lieut. Hussey of engine five heard the cracking of the walls. “Run for your lives boys.” he shouted, and the men, dropping the leads of hose they were carrying, made a desperate rush for the standpipes in the front of the building. Although nearly every man on the top floor was caught by the falling debris and more or less seriously injured, they one after another leaped for the ice-covered standpipe and slid to the street in safety. GALLAGHER alone failed to do so.

Iowa City Daily Press, Iowa City, IA 28 Jan 1908


Two Chicago Fires

Wholesale District Threatened By Flames.

Hotel Guest Panic Stricken.

Many Firemen Are Injured When Roof Falls In--One Man Is Reported Missing.

Chicago, Jan. 28--Fire in the wholesale machinery district last night caused damages of $75,000. The flames attacked and were confined to a five-story structure at 22-30 Canal Street, which housed half a dozen firms.

While driving at full speed to the fire the horses of Engine Company No. 21 and Truck Company No. 9 collided at State and Washington streets. The drivers escaped injury by jumping, but the engine apparatus was so badly damaged that it had to be returned to quarters.

Early Morning Blaze.

Chicago, Jan. 28- One man is reported missing, over a score of firemen were severely injured, two probably fatally, and a property loss of $650,000 was caused in a fire which broke out in the printing establishment of the W.P. Dunn Co., 167-169 Adams street, early Monday.

Hotel Guests In Panic

The building occupied by the printing concern was completely gutted and the Hotel Florence adjoining was also destroyed.

Guests in the latter establishment, and also in the Grand Pacific, were thrown in a panic. Fanned by a high wind, the flames beat fiercely against the skyscrapers in the compactly build district.

GALLAGHER, the missing pipe man, is believed to have lost his life in the collapse on the roof of the Hotel Florence, where the members of Truck Company No. 1 and Engine Company No. 13 were fighting the flames across from the Dunn building.

Water was being poured from several leads of hose that had been dragged to the top floor of the hotel building. At the time of the collapse of the roof the firemen were making their hardest fight. It was the critical juncture with the men who were trying to subdue the flames, fanned as they were by the fierce gale.

Firemen Face Death

Additional alarms had been turned in and all available apparatus in the downtown district was on the scene. The Hotel Florence was filled with smoke and the firemen frequently had to retire in order to get fresh air. They were aware of the fact that the roof was on fire, but they remained at their posts.

Hardly a man escaped without being struck by falling timbers. Many were burned by firebrands. Those who had escaped being pinned beneath the wreckage set at once to rescue their comrades. Fagin and Quinlan were near the outer walls of the building. They were buried from the sight of their rescuers.

Belleville News-Democrat, Belleville, IL 28 Jan 1908