Watertown, NY Britton Block Fire, Jun 1918


Fireman Goes Up Three Flights for Third Time to Save Baby.

Watertown, June 29.----A fire which broke out about 10:30 this evening among the boxes in the basement of the Cooperative store, a stock concern that occupies the ground floor of the Britton block in Arsenal street, caused damage to goods of many hundreds of dollars from smoke which the firemen pronounced about the worst they had ever had to combat. A child and several other dwellers in rooms on upper floors were rescued by the police.

The second floor is occupied by the rooms of the Machinists' union, while Mrs. J. D. Burtis, who came here recently from Antwerp where the family sustained a $1,000 loss by fire just before moving, rents the third and fourth floors, subletting apartments Mrs. Burtis, who is an invalid, was aided down the stairs by the police.

Detective Captain A. S. Wood learned that three-year-old Lena Reno, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eleanor Reno, who had gone out and left the child to be looked after by neighbors, was in a apartment on the fourth floor. Three times he groped up the stairs and searched the rooms, twice falling to find the child but the third time locating her on and arm chair and carrying her safely to the street. One of the three Laquee sisters, who occupied apartments on the fourth floor, fainted and was carried out by Night Captain Billy Edgehill of the police force. Other occupants of upper floor apartments are Miss F. Morphy, Mr. Kellar, a tool maker of the New York Air Brake plant, and his wife and Mr. Sprague, a commercial traveler. Fireman John McNally of Truck No.1 and Leo McRedmong of Engine 3 were overcome by smoke and carried out of the basement and resuscitated.

John Whalen of Grand avenue, a fireman, was found in the basement following the fire nearly asphyxiated and is being resuscitated at St. Joachim's hospital.

Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY 30 Jun 1918