New York, NY Cassidy & Sons Building Fire, Dec 1894



New York, Dec. 29.-- Three alarms were sent out at 5 o'clock this morning for a fire in the six-story building at 214 and 216 West Twenty-fourth street, occupied by Cassidy & Sons, dealers in gas fixtures. The loss will reach $50,000. While at work on the fourth floor, Battalion Chief Bresnan and Assistant Foreman John J. Rooney were killed instantly by the fifth floor falling in upon them. Their bodies have not yet been recovered. Assistant Foreman Hennessey, of Engine 18, had his left shoulder and left leg fractured by a falling beam.

They were on the fifth and sixth floors and Chief Bresnan surrounded by men from Engine companies Nos. 14, 18, and 19, was forcing his way up the stairway leading to the fourth floor. Without a moment's warning the charred beams on the fifth floor gave way, under the weight of a heavy piece of machinery which carried away the stairway. Chief Bresnan and Assistant Foreman John L. Rooney, of Engine company No. 12, were both pinned under the machinery as it struck the fourth floor. Both were probably instantly killed. Half a dozen firemen were also pinned down on the stairway leading from the fourth to the fifth floor, but they managed to cut their way out in the face of the advancing flames. Four of the men were painfully, but none seriously, burned. It is impossible to make an effort to rescue the bodies of Chief Bresnan and Assistant Foreman Rooney. The list of killed and injured is as follows:


JAMES J. BRESNAN, chief of the sixth battalion

JOHN L. ROONEY, assistant foreman of engine company No. 12.


FRANK COGAN, fireman engine company No. 12; hands burned; taken to New York hospital.

EDWARD FARELL, fireman engine company No. 19, hand and arm burned.

BERT GALVIN, fireman engine company No. 14, hands and arms burned; taken to New York hospital.

WM. HENNESSY, assistant foreman, Engine company 18, ankle sprained and hands and arms burned; taken to New York hospital.

Chief Bresnan had hardly reached his quarters from a fire in Bassford alley, near East Eleventh street, when the alarm sent him up to the fire in the big factory. The building is six stories high, and on the ground floor it extends through to West Twenty-third street. Above the first story there is an enormous air shaft between the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth street partitions of the factory. With the exception of the second floor, which was used by H. R. Horner & Co. furniture dealers, the entire building on Twenty-fourth street was occupied by Cassidy & Son. Loss, $50,000.

Fort Wayne News, Fort Wayne, IN 29 Dec 1894