Hurleyville, NY Schindler Hotel Fire, Feb 1926
NINE BODIES TAKEN FROM HOTEL RUINS.
BUT FOUR OF THOSE WHO DIED IN RESORT FIRE IDENTIFIED -- MANY CAME FOR HOLIDAY SPORTING EVENTS.
2 EXPECTED TO DIE.
WOMAN BREAKS BACK IN LEAP FROM WINDOW -- BABY IN HER ARMS ESCAPES UNHURT -- ONE MAN SEVERELY BURNED.
Hurleyville, Feb. 22 (AP) -- Two more bodies, bringing the total dead to nine, were recovered tonight from the ruins of the Schindler Prairie House, which was destroyed by fire early today.
Identification of the bodies was made impossible by their charred condition.
Firemen, who had been searching the ruins, discontinued work in the belief that the bodies of all those who perished had been recovered.
The hotel was the center of a group which caters to winter resort activities, and many of the guests had come here expressly for Washington's birthday sports. Radio and card games occupied the attention of the guests last night, but the last of the visitors had retired before the fire started.
Shortly before 2 a.m. smoke seeping under doors awakened several of the guests, and many escaped by leaping from upper story windows, but within a few minutes the building was in flames, and when daylight fell on the ruins, a check up showed at least 12 guests and employes to be missing. By noon seven bodies had been recovered, and further search during the afternoon and evening revealed two others.
Because practically all of the victims were in their night clothes, only four of the bodies recovered had been identified by this afternoon. They were BENNY BAND, Passaic, N.J., and CHARLES GARFINKLE, address unknown, waiters at the hotel; MARY DIMMELLER, a chambermaid, and JERRY BASTIAN, a porter, both of whose address were unknown.
Guests who were missing and who were believed by state troopers to have died in the fire, are LOUIS COHEN, New York City; MR. SCHORR, the Bronx; JULIUS HOCHSTEIN; MR. YANKOWITZ, and MR. MULLOCH, none of whose addresses were known.
As fast as other occupants of the burning structure leaped from windows and fled from the lower floor, in their scant attire, they were placed on sleighs and rushed to the Monticello hospital six miles away by direct road, but nearly 15 today, with many of the roads blocked with snow.
The fire started, so far as could be learned, in a chimney on a level with the third floor of the hotel. The wood and stucco frame of the building furnished ample timber for the blaze, and it rapidly spread through the top floor, and then downward through the center of the structure, cutting the occupants off from the stairways. In the excitement, the villagers neglected to turn in a fire alarm, and by the time the Hurleyville firemen arrived, the entire building was in flames. The Hurleyville fire department, aided by firemen from Loch Sheldrake and surrounding communities, was able to save the hotel dining room and kitchen, in an out-building.
Two of the survivors in the Monticello Hospital are not expected to live. One of them is MRS. FANNIE RESNICK, Brooklyn, who broke her back when she leaped from a third story window, with her baby in her arms. The child was uninjured. JULIUS JACOBSON, Hurleyville an employe of the Prairie House, is also in danger from serious burns received when after escaping from the third floor he insisted upon re-entering the building to effect several rescuers.
Physicians and nurses from Monticello, as well as other places in the vicinity, were rushed here when the extent of the fire became known. Other hotels, homes, and stores were thrown open to the survivors, and holiday sports programs were canceled so that the villagers and visitors might lend their aid.
Samuel Schindler, proprietor of the Prairie House and a resident of Yonkers, could give no definite estimate of the loss tonight.
Oneonta Daily Star New York 1926-02-23