Boston, MA Bent Building Fire Kills Six Firemen, Feb 1898


Roof of a Burning in Boston Collapsed.

Boston, Feb. 5.---The bodies of six firemen, among them District Chief Egan. have just been taken from the ruins of the Bent building which took fire at 4 o'clock this morning. The dead are:

JOHN F. EGAN, district chief.

JAMES VICTORY, captain of engine companies 39 and [ineligible]8.

GEORGE J. GOTWALD, lieutenant of engine company No. 39.


JOHN J. MUHLER, fireman.

Four other firemen were buried in the ruins but escaped with more or less serious injuries. They are:

Jos. M. Garrity, captain of engine 7.

Thomas E. Conway, hoseman.

T. J. Doherty, hoseman.

Edward Shea, hoseman.

The building was a five-story structure on Merrimac street occupied by G. W. Bent & Co., manufacturers of beds, bedding, etc.

The fire is supposed to have started in the rear of the fourth story. The firemen entered a window and were at work on the fourth floor when the roof collapsed, tearing away the top floor and the one on which the firemen were engaged, burying them beneath the wreck.

Six firemen, including a district chief, captain and lieutenant were killed at a fire this morning which burned out the interior of a five-story building on Merrimac street occupied by G. W. Bent & Co., manufactures of beds, bedding, etc. The alarm sounded at 3:58. The building was filled with most inflammable material. The fire spread with almost incredible rapidity and in a few moments the three upper stories were a seething furnace of flames. The fire was nearly under control at the time of the accident.

The firemen of engine seven were on the fourth floor and engines 38 and 39 on the second when the roof collapsed, carrying down portions of all floors through the basement and burying the firemen beneath a great mass of debris. A hasty canvass of the department showed ten men missing. The first man taken out was Ed Shea. He was found pinned between timbers. As he was being removed he said: "Don't bother about me, get the other fellows that are in there."

Loss on contents, $30,000; on building, $45,000.

Butte Weekly Miner, Butte, ID 10 Feb 1898