Buffalo, NY Glucose Works Fire, Apr 1894
A great many of the men at work on the upper floors were ignorant Poles and Germans. They may have been burned and they may not. It is impossible to tell now. The chances are, however, that several men were burned to death.
As it was, four of the men who jumped were hurt.
The injured are:
JOHN YOUNG, a workman, jumped, hurt about the head and face.
Two Poles, cannot speak English, names unknown, both severely injured, one has both legs broken.
JOHN STEIN, workman, severely burned.
JOHN H. WEBER, of engine No. 1, crushed by falling roof, badly burned, ribs broken and internal injuries; may die.
LOUIS SCHROEDER, lieutenant engine No. 1, back and legs hurt.
The fire spread with incredible swiftness. In 15 minutes the entire main building was a mass of flames. In 20 minutes the wall began to fall, and they fell at frequent intervals until, inside of 45 minutes, there was but one corner standing. The main building was connected with the power and feed house by an elevated bridge over Scott Street.
The flames crept across this and ignited the feedhouse. This burned more slowly than the main building, but for all that it was but a short time until the flames had complete control of the building.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo City fish market, which stood just across the street on the corner of Scott and West Market Streets, caught fire.
Five firemen were sent inside it to fight the flames and a number of streams were turned on the roof. The building was a long, low brick structure and the firemen made a good fight to save it, but a portion of the blazing wall fell on it and started the roof to burning fiercely.
The firemen inside did not know of this and no one told them. The consequence was that in a few minutes the roof fell in and buried the five firemen. Three of them escaped with no other injuries than a few bruises, but JOHN H. WEBER of Engine No. 1 and Lieutenant LEWIS H. SCHROEDER of the same company were not so fortunate. WEBBER was taken out unconscious. It is a question whether he lives or dies.
Lieutenant SCHROEDER had his back and legs hurt. Both were taken to hospitals.
The feedhouse was completely destroyed, the walls all having fallen. The refinery and the storehouse went next, and in two hours there was nothing left of the mammoth establishment but a few tottering walls.
The glucose works were owned and controlled by C. J. Hamlin, the famous trotting horse man, and his sons. There is a branch of the institution at Peoria, Ills., and another at the foot of Court Street in this city.
By a secret process corn was treated with sulphuric acid and glucose was the result. This was sold for use by confectioners, preservers and the like. The corn after the glucose was extracted was dried and sold as food for cattle.
For years the Hamlin's made immense amounts of money from the plant. Then a man named Williams sued them, claiming that he discovered the secret processes which were used, and demanding payment therefor. He recovered $250,000.
Some of the secrets came out at the trial and a great number of glucose works were started in different parts of the country. Since then the Hamlin's have not made so much money.
The Olean Democrat New York 1894-04-13