Buffalo, NY Columbia Building Fire, Jan 1907


Buffalo, N. Y., January 28.--The Columbia building, an eight-story structure at Seneca and Wells streets, was burned this morning, involving a financial loss of $500,000. Three firemen are missing, having been caught with twelve more firemen in the collapse of a wall.

The firemen who were working on the roof of an adjoining warehouse saw the walls tottering and started to run down the stairs, but were caught by the falling debris, which crashed through the roof. The names of the missing men are Elliott, Norton and Heineke.

Reno Evening Gazette, Reno, NV 28 Jan 1907



In the Ruins of an Eight Story Buffalo Building.

Men Were Fighting the Seneca Building From the Roof of the Heywood.

BUFFALO, N. Y. Jan. 28.--Buried under tons of ice coated debris of the eight story Seneca building at 101-109 Seneca street, destroyed by fire to-day, three firemen are probably dead or so badly injured that they will die before aid can reach tem.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, IN 29 Jan 1907


About twenty firemen, including the three missing men were on the roof of the Heywood building adjourning the Seneca, fighting against a spread of the flames, when two thick brick walls of the Seneca building collapsed. Tons of debris from the crumbling walls crashed down on the Heywood building carrying floor after floor into the basement. Not one of the twenty men escaped without some injury, but half of them were able to fight their way out and to give aid to their less fortunate comrades. Gangs of men were at once put to work clearing away the wreckage and rescuing the imprisoned firemen. By noon all but three of their number had been released and hurried to hospitals. It was said to-night that none of the injured will die. The rescuers worked in relays all afternoon, but no trace of the missing men could be found. As night fell electric light wires were strung into the ruins and to-night by the light of arc lamps the work of rescue was kept up.


Three Men Killed and Twelve Others Injured.

Buffalo, N. Y. Jan. 29--An eight story brick building at 101-107 Seneca street, and extending through the block to Carroll street, was destroyed by fire. Loss, $500,000. A score of firemen were caught under a falling wall while fighting the fire. Three are still buried in the ruins, and there is no hope of rescuing them alive. Twelve others were injured, six of them seriously.

The missing are: William J. Naughton, a lieutenant; John R. Hinky, fireman; Stephen J. Megan, fireman.

The collapse of the wall which buried two companies of firemen occurred after the fire in the main building was well under control, and the firemen were working to save adjoining property. Companies 4 and 8 were on the top floor of the next building to the east wetting down the walls, when one of the inner walls of the destroyed structure collapsed, carrying two other heavy brick walls with it. Every man in the two companies received injuries of some kind, but most of them were able to reach the street.

The News, Frederick, MD 29 Jan 1907


More Injured and Dead

Buffalo, N. Y., Jan. 28. -- Fire early today destroyed the Columbia building, and eight story structure on Seneca street, used as a hotel during the Pan-American exposition, but since changed to a power building. The loss is between four and five hundred thousand dollars. The cause is unknown. There were about 20 tenants in the building. While 20 men of companies 4 and 8 of the Buffalo fire departments were working on the roof of an adjoining warehouse, the wall of the Columbia building fell, burying them under tons of debris. Six have been rescued, [illegible].

Firemen Elliott, Norton and Hinkey are missing band believed to be dead.

Elliott rescued, not very badly injured. Penkey, Norton, and Fireman Hegan are missing, and believed to be dead. Fireman Bailey was rescued, badly hurt.

The Fitchburg Sentinel, Fitchburg, MA 28 Jan 1907


....The injured are: Capt. Michael Haggerty, engine No. 8, head injured, knee crushed and spine injured; Lieut. J. C. Malloy, engine No. 10, ankle broken and badly bruised; Fireman Bunce, engine no. 8, head injured; Fireman Bensinger, engine No. 4, ankle sprained; Fireman Yaeger, engine No. 4, spine wrenched.

Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY 28 Jan 1907


Buffalo, Jan 29. -- The body of Stephen J. Meegan, pipeman of engine No. 18, one of the three firemen caught by falling walls in yesterday's fire, was found early today. The body which had been frozen solidly into the debris, was badly crushed and battered.

The bodies of iLeutenant [sic] Naughton and Pipeman Hinkey have veen [sic] recovered. All of the missing firmen [sic] have now been accounted for.

Reno Evening Gazette, Reno, NV 29 Jan 1907


Victim of the Buffalo Fire Dead

Buffalo. Feb 2.-- Mrs. Mary Granger, aged 70 years, one of the occupants of the [illegible] hotel, which was burned on Thursday morning last, died today, from shock resulting from excitement. She was slightly injured.

Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY 2 Feb 1907