Columbus, OH Theater and Hotel Burn, Nov 1893

Columbus OH Chittenden Hotel Burned.jpg

FIRE IN COLUMBUS.

THE NEW HENRIETTA THEATER AND CHITTENDEN HOTEL BURNED.

ESTIMATED LOSS OF $300,000.

THE THEATER WAS CROWDED WITH PEOPLE AT THE TIME, BUT ALL ESCAPED FROM THE BURNING BUILDING -- THE BEST THEATER AND THE BEST HOTEL GONE -- ONE MAN PERISHED.

Columbus, O., Nov. 25. -- About 8 o'clock yesterday evening as the orchestra was playing the overture at the new Henrietta theater for the opening of a play by the FELIX MORRIS company the manager announced there was a fire in the rear and requested the audience to quietly reture. All passed out in order.
The fire originated in the auditorium and uncompleted portion of the structure and communicated to the theater proper. It soon became evident that the new Chittenden hotel, which was a portion of the same structure connected by a bridge, would also burn. Within two hours the whole of the quarter block had been burned over, entailing a loss estimated from $600,000 to $700,000.
The buildings are estimated at $300,000 and were owned by H. T. CHITTENDEN, who did not carry more than $50,000 insurance. The loss of the Hotel Chittenden company, composed of SHOUP & COWEN, is estimated at $100,000, which was in furniture alone. DICKSON & TALBOT of Indianapolis were lessees of the Henrietta, and opened it in September, 1892, when it was completed. They were also lessees to the Park theater in the same block, which was also consumed.
A sensational drama was being presented by GRAY & STEPHENS at the Park. The loss of DICKSON & TALBOT at both theaters will be between $10,000 and $15,000. The loss of Chittenden, owner of the buildings, will be over $300,000. Firms who occupied business rooms in the building were the Ohio State Savings and Trust company, whose loss will be about $5,000; a saloon, shoe house, drug store and a small clothing house were completely destroyed.
The loss of FELIX MORRIS & Company is about $2,000 on wardrobes, which were burned.
The fire takes from Columbus her best theater, her best hotel and a number of flourishing business enterprises.
The ticket office of the Columbus, Hocking Valley and Toledo Railway company was burned out, with a comparatively small loss.
As soon as the alarm of fire was given in the hotel the wildest scenes prevailed. There were about 100 guests in the hotel and, they at once set about in a pell mell manner to save their personal effects. The double elevator was kept running until it finally became overcrowded and stalled at the second floor, and had to be abandoned. The guests then made use of the stairways and ran to and fro with trunks and clothing such as they could gather in the excitement of the moment, and a majority of them succeeded in saving much of their goods.
Some of the permanent boarders in the hotel met with severe losses. Governor McKINLEY and wife, who were regular boarders at the hotel and had elegant apartments, were not in the city, not having returned from Boston. Adjutant General HOWE and other members of the governor's staff who were early on the scene made a specialty of saving the governor's effects and carried all to a place of safety before being driven out by the fire. The loss of the governor and wife will be comparatively nothing.
With all the excitement attending one of the most terrific fires which has visited Columbus, there were no serious injuries to persons and but one was killed he being HARVEY THOMPSON, a janitor, who was engaged about the Henrietta theater. He was trying to lay a hose to fight the fire inside the building where he was cut off by the flames and perished.

Hamilton Daily Democrat Ohio 1893-11-25