Short Hills, NJ House Fire, Feb 1907


Broker and Wife Trapped by Flames In Their House.

Special to The New York Times.

SHORT HILLS, N.J., Feb. 17.---Hartshorn's Park, the handsome home of William C. De Lanoy, in Forest Drive, was totally destroyed by fire early this mooring, and Mr. and Mrs. De Lanoy are in the private hospital of Dr. Milford Runyon in South Orange, severely burned about the head and hands, wherever, in fact, their clothing failed to protect them. Neither is likely to succumb to the injuries they received, but they will be in the hospital for some time to come.

Their two children were carried to safety by their nurse and escaped injury, but Mr. and Mrs. De Lanoy delayed their departure from the burning building and were trapped by the flames. It is thought the damage to the building will approximate $50,000. It burned with great rapidity, and little of the contents was saved.

Mr. De Lanoy is a member of the insurance firm of De Lanoy & De Lanoy of 2 Wall Street, New York.

The fire was discovered about 8 o'clock this morning by some of the servants, who saw a blaze in the conservatory at the rear of the house, where Mr. De Lanoy had a collection of costly plants. It is supposed that an oil stove used to heat the place exploded, and that the blaze communicated to the wood work. An alarm of fire was telephoned to Millburn, about two miles away, and Mr. and Mrs. De Lanoy, who were carried across the street to the home of William G. Sickel.

At this time the smoke had not permeated the upper part of the house, and, thinking that there was no immediate danger, Mr. and Mrs. De Lanoy finished their dressing, and then gathered up some jewelry and valuables, preparatory to leaving the house.

Opening the door into the hallway, they were met by a great gust of smoke and heard the roar of the flames in the lower part of the house. Mr. De Lanoy grasped his wife and started down the stairway. The couple were blinded and choked by the smoke and were well-nigh overcome by the time they reached the foot of the stairs.

Down stairs they found that the flames had spread in such a manner that escaped by the front of the house was entirely cut off and they would have to fight their way through the blazing hallway to a rear door, which was not far from the place where the fire started. Neighbors were rallying to their aid, for the word spread quickly that Mr. and Mrs. De Lanoy were still in the blazing building, and as the couple staggered out of the rear door, with their clothing afire, they were caught by eager hands and hurried to the residence of Mr. Sickel and made as comfortable as possible pending the arrival of Dr. Wellington Campbell of Millburn.

Dr. Campbell applied temporary dressings, and the private ambulance of Frederick Ardrey in South Orange and one of the Record ambulances from Orange were summoned, and Mr. and Mrs. De Lanoy rushed to the hospital as fast as the horses could be driven.

Meanwhile the firemen, who had made good time over the uphill roads, which were blocked with snow, got to work, but the handsome stone and frame house was doomed, and every effort had to be exerted to save other houses in the neighborhood from being set afire by the flying brands. The building was practically wrecked within an hour.

The New York Times, New York, NY 18 Feb 1907