New York, NY Chelsea Hotel Fire, Dec 1900


Former Publisher Overcome by Fright at a Blaze in a New York Hotel.

New York, Dec. 4.--Patrons of the Chelsea Hotel, in West Twenty-Third Street, were thrown into a panic yesterday afternoon by a fire in one of the air shafts. For a few minutes there was a general scramble for safety, in which women took the principal part. Among these was Mrs. Frank Leslie, who was almost prostrated by fright.

The fire was discovered at half-past 4 o'clock on the fourth floor. An attendant immediately gave the alarm. In an instant excitement took possession of the tenants.

There were few men on the upper floors and the woman flocked into the halls from their rooms. Scenting the smoke, the{sic} screamed and dashed for the elevator, their cries alarming those who were ignorant of the fire.

The elevator attendant struggled nobly to carry the excited women all down at once, but failed. Those who could not crowd into the car took to the stairs, and the halls were filled with hysterical women.

They rushed to the office on the ground floor and breathlessly asked if there was any danger. The clerk did not know, so the women ran into the street. Some carried articles of wearing apparel they had seized in their flight.

Battalion Chief Gooderson of the Fire Department calmed the fears of the women and they returned to the Chelsea parlors. Chief Gooderson found that the fire was among wires used in connection with the electric call system. The wires were covered with paraffine{sic}, inclosed{sic} in a wooden box, that extended through the air shaft from the first floor to the roof. The covering of the wires became ignited, supposedly because a workman threw a lighted match among them from an opening in one of the floors.

New Haven Register, New Haven, CT 4 Dec 1900