New Haven, CT Steamer ELM CITY Fire, Jul 1891



Flames Burst Out of the Burning Boiler-Room in View of 1,300 Excursionists - No One Badly Hurt.

NEW HAVEN, Conn., July 31. -- When the steamer Elm City, which left New York at 7:30 last night with about 1,300 excursionists on board, was about half way between New York and Bridgeport fire broke out over the boiler-room near the port paddle-wheel and blazed up in the most threatening manner. The flames were mostly behow[sic] deck, but the dense, black smoke curled up from below.

The excitement among the passengers was intense, and for a few minutes it amounted to almost a panic. Women screamed and children clung to their mothers in terror. A man and woman in stateroom No. 49, immediately over the boiler, were almost suffocated by the smoke, which filled their room. They were with great difficulty rescued and carried below unconscious. They recovered before the boat reached the city.

Prompt work by officers of the boat averted an awful catastrophe. The crew was set at work with axes chopping away the woodwork to get at the blaze. A hole was cut in the floor of the stateroom over the boiler. A hose was inserted and a stream of water was soon playing on the flames. After working about an hour the men managed to extinguish the fire. The blaze originated from an over-heated boiler, which ignited the woodwork in the engine-room. Though women fainted and men lost their heads no on as seriously injured.

Davenport Morning Tribune Iowa 1891-08-01