Deal, NJ House Fire, Jun 1912


Deal, N. J., Residence, One of the Finest on Coast, Burned.

DEAL, N. J., June 23.---The Summer home of Mrs. M. W. Horgan, widow of Arthur J. Horgan, formerly of Horgan & Slattery, New York architects, was destroyed by fire this afternoon. The Horgan family is staying at the Hotel Marlborough, Asbury Park, and the house had been rented for the Summer to Mrs. Frances Lissberger of the Hotel Clarendon, Manhattan. The household consists of Mrs. Lissberger, her daughter Jane, her son Benjamin, and his wife and two children---Marian, 3 years old, and Dorothy, a baby---and the servants. To-day there was also a visitor at the house, E. Lissberger of the Hotel Clarendon.

The family went to the ball game at Long Branch this afternoon, the children being left in charge of their nurse, Alphonsine Zillois. She was sitting in her room on the second floor when pieces of glass from a skylight began to fall about her. Looking up she saw that the ceiling was in flames. She screamed and fainted. Other servants took her and the children to a place of safety and then set about fighting the fire.

They attached a line of hose to a faucet in the kitchen, and tried to extinguish the flames, but the fire continued to spread and William Fielder, the butler, telephoned to the Fire Department. Besides the local firemen the departments from Elberon and Allenhurst responded, and one engine came from Asbury Park. There had been too mush delay in giving the alarm, however, and the house was practically destroyed.

The building was one of the finest on the Jersey coast. It was a two-story structure of brick and concrete, in the French Renaissance style, and was surrounded by sunken gardens, in which there is much costly statuary. It was expensively furnished, and the walls of many of the rooms were covered with hand-painted tapestries and valuable paintings. A marble stairway was ruined.

The loss is about $110,000 on the building and $53,000 on the furniture. The Lissbergers lose about $5,000 worth of clothing. The building and the furniture were insured. Crossed electric light wires are believed to have started the fire.

When the Lissbergers got back the building was still burning. Miss Lissberger recalled the fact that jewelry had been valued at $18,000 and $3,000 in cash had been left in a small safe on the second floor, and William Wilcox, and expressman, undertook to save the valuables. He got to the second floor, but fell through a wooden stairway, a distance of about thirty-five feet, but was not badly hurt. Then it was found that the jewelry and money had been saved.

The New York Times, New York, NY 24 Jun 1912