Richmond Borough NYC, NY Westerleigh College Fire, Feb 1903

WESTERLEIGH COLLEGE IS DESTROYED BY FIRE.

THREE HUNDRED PUPILS OF RICHMOND BOROUGH SCHOOL GET OUT SAFELY -- INSTRUCTOR INJURED.

One man was seriously injured and 300 pupils were badly frightened in a fire which destroyed the Westerleigh College, a private school, at Westerleigh, Richmond Borough, about noon yesterday. The man injured is LOUIS GRIFFITH, a music instructor at the college. He jumped from a third-story window to the ground, a distance of seventy-five feet, breaking his right ankle and bruising his body.
The fire was discovered in the basement by Prof. WILBUR STRONG, head of the school. He went to the classrooms and notified the teachers, and the children were marched first to the cloak room in the gymnasium, and then out of the building.
The flames spread rapidly and when MR. GRIFFITH decided to leave the building, the exit by way of the stairs was cut off. Running to a window on the third floor, he opened it, and stood out on the sill. JOHN CARMAN, a painter, was working on a building close by; he saw MR. GRIFFITH, and shouted to him to wait, as he would get a ladder, but MR. GRIFFITH paid no heed and jumped. He was taken to the S. R. Smith Infirmary.
The building was a three-story frame structure, in which there were twelve classrooms. There was a staff of sixteen teachers besides Prof. STRONG. The fire was caused by a defective flue. Forty thousand dollars will fully cover the damage.

The New York Times New York 1903-02-20