Denver, CO Gumry Hotel Explosion and Fire, Aug 1895 - Holocaust in Denver

HOLOCAUST IN DENVER

The Gumry Hotel Burned With Loss of Life Sunday Night.

SEVEN DEAD BODIES RECOVERED

More Are Known to Have Perished But Were Not Taken Out at 12:30 Last Night – The List of Injured and Missing is Large -- The Catastrophe Said to be the Worst That Has Occurred In the Capital of the State For Years -- Boy Doing an Engineer's Work the Cause.

Denver, Aug. 19. --- At 12 o'clock Sunday night the boiler in the basement of the Gumry hotel, Lawrence street between Seventeenth and Eighteenth streets, exploded and completely wrecked the building. Naught but the walls were left intact. Seven deaths resulted so far as known, and many were injured.

Fire broke out immediately after the floors fell and when the firemen reached the scene imprisoned men and women were calling for help. Windows in the front wall were occupied by guests imploring rescue. These were taken out safely, but it required more than human aid to release those below in the debris. From midnight until daylight the work of rescue was in progress, and all day long the grewsome[sic] task of exhuming the victims continued with the utmost celerity. At a late hour tonight the workmen are making every effort to reach the bodies of those still remaining beneath the debris.

The scenes presented as the bodies were uncovered were fearful to behold. Burned, distorted and contused, they were with great difficulty identified. As fast as removed the bodies were hurried to the morgue in the police ambulance.

At 12:30 this (Tuesday) morning the following dead bodies had been taken from the ruins and identified:

ROBERT C. GREINER, manager of the hotel and son-in-law of Proprietor GUMRY;
MRS. ROBERT C. GREINER;
JAMES MURPHY of Omaha, contractor;
FRED HUBBALD, Lisbon, Iowa;
WILL RICHARDS, aged 19, elevator boy;
GEORGE BURT, a passenger conductor on the Rock Island of Colorado Springs;
MRS. G. R. WOLE and CHILD.

Those missing and believed to have perished are:
PETER GUMRY, proprietor of hotel;
GENERAL CHARLES ADAMS;
MYRON E. HAWLEY;
W. J. BLAKE;
E. W. EDWARDS;
W. J. CORSON;
BITA I. LORAH;
F. FRENCH;
MR. GREINER, father of ROBERT C. GRENIER;
UNKNOWN WOMAN.

Not the slightest hope is entertained for the missing, as it has been ascertained almost beyond doubt they are buried beneath the wrecked building.

M. E. LENSON was removed from the ruins at 10 o'clock this morning. Late tonight he is still alive, but he can not recover. Half a dozen others are painfully but not seriously injured. It is estimated that the loss on the Gumry and the McMahon block adjoining will reach $75,000.
ELMER PIERCE, the 17 year old boy who was temporarily looking after the boiler, allowed the water to go below the safety valves and the terrible catastrophe is due to this.

Aspen Weekly Times Colorado 1895-08-24