Baltimore, MD City Conflagration, May 1855


From the Baltimore Republican, May 28.
About 8 o'clock on Saturday evening, our city was visited with one of the most destructive fires that has occurred for years. It was first discovered in the warehouse on Baltimore street, second door east of Howard, occupied by MESSRS, DAILEY, MASSEY & Co., as a wholesale clothing establishment, which seemed to be on fire in many separate places, from the cellar to the roof; and in spite of the efforts of the firemen, the fiery element raged on, and in less then one hour that and the corner building, occupied as a wholesale dry goods warehouse by MESSRS, DEVRIES, STEPHENS & THOMAS, were, with most of their contents, in ruins. The falling of these buildings exposed an open window that had been built against in the rear of the large warehouse adjoining, occupied by MESSRS. NORRIS, CALWELL & Co., wholesale and retail grocers; by T. S. BANTZ, as a wholesale shoe warehouse, and by R. TAVENNER & Co., saddlers. The flames now rushed through this exposed window, and in a few minutes the whole structure was in a blaze. On the third floor, whence the flames first got access, was stored 150 barrels of old whisky, which was soon on fire, and the blue flame that came from all parts of the building, and seemed to be running down the front walls, indicated the flow of the liquid fire throughout the structure. In fifteen minutes the whole interior was a mass of fire, and the walls soon tottered and fell. On Howard street the flames in the meantime had also made considerable progress. From the corner building they communicated to the roof of E. BENNETT'S fancy goods establishment, but the rear being protected from the heat by a high wall, the fire was confined to the roof and upper story. The adjoining building, occupied by MESSRS. MAYER & BROTHER, importers of fancy goods, caught from the rear on every story, and was soon one sheet of flame from the cellar to the roof. The firemen, however, exerted themselves to check the spread of the fire beyond this building on Howard street, and soon succeeded, but slight damage by water having been done to the adjoining book and stationery store of MESSRS. JOHN CUSHING & Co. The losses are roughly estimated as follows -- the amount of goods in all the buildings being large:
Value of the buildings destroyed, $31,000.
Loss of DAILEY, MASSEY & Co., $35,000.
NORRIS, CALWELL & Co., $33,000.
T. S. BANTZ, $13,000.
R. TAVENNER, $7,000.
E. BENNETT, $3,000.
MAYER & BROTHER, $15,000.
JOICE & BAUGHER, $4,000.
FISHER, BOYD & Co., $6,000.
JOHN CUSHING & Co., $1,000.

The New York Times New York 1855-05-30