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Toronto, ON Mail Office Fire, May 1884

FIRE IN THE TORONTO MAIL OFFICE.

TORONTO, Ontario, May 24--The Mail Building took fire about 9:30 this morning. The fire originated in the paper-room in the subcellar, and the flames made their way up the elevator-way to the top flat and invaded the telephone-room. The girls were driven out of the room to take refuge on the ledge of the building, where for 15 minutes they occupied a very dangerous position. Some citizens, seeing their perilous plight, broke open the adjoining building and made a determined attempt to rescue the girls. The rescuers, on arriving at the roof of the building, found that the ledge on which the girls were standing was much higher than the position which they had gained, but by means of a ladder they were enabled to reach and rescue them. One girl jumped from the high building to the next and was but slightly injured, while another fainted and fell. A few minutes later the cupola of the building caught fire and when the roof burned through the heavy flagpole, with the union jack flying, fell into Bay-street, the firemen narrowly escaping with their lives. In the meantime and extension ladder was put into a front window on the top flat and two streams were taken to the top of the building. By this tie, however, the fire had got such a start that it was impossible to check it till the roof of he building had fallen in. A fire engine attached to a hydrant to force the water to the top of the building did good service. There was great danger to citizens owing to falling telephone wires, of which there were hundreds connecting to the main office, which is in the Mail Building. At 1 o'clock the fire was completely extinguished. It is impossible to state the damage, but the presses and type of the Mail office are in good condition. There is $90,000 insurance of which $3000 is with the Liverpool, London and Globe Company.

The New York Times, New York, NY 25 May 1884

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