Cincinnati, OH Fire, Jul 1895


Brave Cincinnati Firemen Killed and Mangled.

Capt. Healey and Pipeman Tom Wisby Taken Out Dead.

A Large Number Seriously Injured, Some of Whom May Die-Several Buildings Burned to the Ground--The Financial Loss a Quarter of a Million.

Cincinnati, July 18.--A homeless, irresponsible vagabond, dirty, unkempt and probably hungry, dropped a lighted match through a grating to a basement on Water street Wednesday afternoon, with the same total unconsciousness of results that animated the cow that kicked over the lamp in Chicago.

The fire started at 1:45 p.m., in the basement of J. W. Hermesch & Co.'s feed warehouse, at 11 and 13 Water street, being located just east of the approach to the Suspension bridge.

So rapidly did the fire spread that persons on the second floor barely escaped by jumping. The fire did not confine itself to the one building, but ran rapidly rearward and attacked the building on Front street, between the Morris establishment, at Front and Walnut, and the bridge approach.

In a very short space of time after the first alarm came the ten-blow, a total of thirteen engines responding. The alarm came from Box 13, and the resulting fatalities gave a text for gossip.
In the Water street building the combustion seemed perfect.

The roof burned off and scarcely any smoke arose, great forked flames demonstrating that the fire was feeding upon the most inflammable of material.

Walls began to fall before 2:30 o'clock. A piece dropped out of the top of the front of the Water street building. A quarter of an hour later down came a great four-story section, reaching clear across the street, and covering with debris the space hastily vacated by three details of firemen.

Bricks flew a hundred feet and did some damage. Spectators were cut and bruised and many were trampled under foot when the wild rush for safety came.

Wall after wall fell, the one that brought death with it not being the last. The building are practically destroyed.

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