Sheboygan, WI Bethlehem Lutheran School fire, Aug 1930

Bethlehem Lutheran School Damaged By Fire Here

Origin In Basement, Is Report

Damage Of $4,000 Is Caused By Flames And Water - General Alarm Sounded

Bethlehem parochial school was damaged to the extent of $4,000 by fire which started in the basement from spontaneous combustion at 8:58 p. m., Thursday.

Most of the damage was to the building, although desks were covered with water and must be revarnished. The beginning of the fall session of school may be delayed while repairs are being made.

A general alarm was sounded when the fire alarm was turned in. All companies responded promptly. The fire had gained considerable headway before the alarm was sent in, and when the firemen arrived, they found the interior of the building was filled with smoke.

Dense Smoke

Owing to the density of the smoke and the impossibility of getting into the building, it required several minutes to locate the seat of the fire, but air vents were made by breaking windows and opening doors, and it was not long before the fire fighters had the situation in control.

The fire started in the basement, where Fourth of July supplies were stored. It must have been burning for several hours before it gained much headway, according to Fire Chief Charles Brandt. From the basement, it spread upward into the rooms and to the attic. Most of the damage was done to the middle of the building.

Carl Hamelau, member of Truck Company No. 2, suffered a severe injury to his face when the cover from a scuttle hold in the attic fell and struck him. He was taken to a physician, who dressed the wound.

Mr. Hamelau was looking upward and was preparing to lift the scuttle cover off when it fell.

Fire department officials announced today that part of the loss on the building, a two and a half story frame structure, and its contents is covered by insurance.

The Sheboygan Press, Sheboygan, WI 22 Aug 1930