New York, NY John Stanley Soap Works Fire, Apr 1904


Spreads from Stanley Plant to Lumber Piles – Horses Burned.

Four alarms were turned in for a fire in the big plant of the JOHN STANLEY Soap Works, at the foot of West Thirtieth Street about 3:30 o'clock this morning. The building has a frontage of 100 feet on West Thirtieth Street. In the rear on Twenty-ninth Street, is the plant of the DUNBAR Lumber Company, and to the East is the Philadelphia & Schuylkill Coal Company. Both of these plants seemed doomed an hour later.

The main building of the soap factory is six stories high. There is one extension, five stories high, on the North River side, and another, a two-story extension, running along Thirtieth Street for a considerable distance. The fire was most spectacular, shedding a glow over the cliffs on the New Jersey shore, and bringing frightened people from their homes for blocks around.

The progress of the flames was marked with continuous explosions of oils and chemicals. Soon after the flames burst through the roof a particularly heavy detonation brought down the east wall of the main structure. An enormous quantity of this brick and masonry fell fairly at the feet of Battalion Chiefs HOWE and GRAY and the crews of Engine 26 and Truck 12, who were fighting the flames from the two-story extension.

Blazing lumber ignited the contents of the building beneath them. It blazed fiercely, but notwithstanding this added danger, Chiefs HOWE and GRAY and their men stood bravely to their lines, and the firemen in the street checked the flames beneath them until they made a safe retreat.

At 2:25 o'clock a heavier explosion blew down the south wall of the main building fairly upon the DUNBAR lumber yards, which immediately caught and blazed fiercely. The RAPP Iron Works, adjoining the lumber yard, was then in grave peril, and it seemed likely that the flames would reach another big plant of the STANLEY concern, in Eleventh Avenue.

Twenty horses of the STANLEY Company, were burned to death. Watchman FRANK LAZIRE discovered the fire on the top floor and escaped by jumping fifteen feet to the ground.

The STANLEY plant, on the same site, was burned seventeen months ago. Insurance men on the ground just before 3 o'clock estimated the loss at at least $200,000 at that time. The fire then seemed to be spreading rapidly.

The New York Times New York 1904-04-27



Three Firemen Killed While Fighting Blaze in New York


JOHN STANLEY Soap Works Damaged to Extent of $200,000. Many Narrow Escapes.

By The Associated Press.
NEW YORK, April 27. -- Three lives were lost and property valued at $200,000 was destroyed in a fire at the JOHN STANLEY Soap Works, in West Thirtieth street, to-day. The dead, all of whom were firemen, are: THOMAS MADIGAN, JAMES CREAN and HUGO ARIGONE.

MADIGAN and CREAN were buried under tons of debris when the walls of the building fell, and it was many hours before their mangled bodies were recovered. ARIGONE, who was caught in the ____ crash, was still alive when released, but was so badly injured that he died at a hospital several hours later.

Many other firemen who had been called out by the four alarms had narrow escapes.
The soap works plant was destroyed and the DUNBAR Box and Lumber Company's lumber yards adjoining were badly damaged.

The Post-Standard Syracuse, New York 1904-04-28