Trenton, NJ Livingston School Fire, Feb 1900

School Fire Causes Panic.

Flames Cut Off Escape by Stairway and Many Children Are Hurt at Trenton, N. J.

Trenton, N. J., Feb. 2. – Flames broke out in the cellar of the Livingston Public School to-day when the afternoon session was partly over and the alarm was not given until after the fire had obtained considerable headway. The children responded promptly to the fire drill commands, and all went well until it was found that the fire had eaten its way from the cellar up under the stairway and was burning the stairs.

The teachers and children on the first floor had little trouble in getting out, but those on the second floor were imprisoned with the fire burning between them and the doorway below, and panic ensued. The only recourse was to jump from the windows. A big crowd gathered around the building within a few moments, and from the near-by houses quickly carried blankets, quilts, and comfortables (sic). These were held beneath the windows, and into them the children jumped. About 125 made the leap, most of them landing safely.

Alice SHAW, ten years old, jumped too soon and fell on the hard ground and her skull was fractured. She will probably die. Three others either wholly or partly missed the blankets and struck the ground. Their injuries required their removal to a hospital, but they will recover. Many who struck the blankets bounded off and striking the ground received severe bruises and cuts. There were no fire escapes upon the building.

The school was badly damaged by the fire, the origin of which is not known.

The New York Times, New York, NY 3 Feb 1900