Hagerstown, MD Washington House Hotel Fire, May 1879


Six Lives Lost and Many Persons Injured.

Hagerstown, MD., May 29.--About two o'clock this morning, a fire was discovered in the lower floor of the Washington House, in this place. Before the alarm could be given the fire had gained such headway that the flames rushed up the stairways, completely cutting off escape. There were upwards of sixty persons registered, besides the regular boarders, nearly all of whom were compelled to escape by climbing down the porch pillars. Several of those who escaped in this way sustained serious injuries by falling. One man made a rope of his bed clothing and attempted to escape in that way from the fourth floor. The rope broke as it reached the third floor, and he is now lying in a very critical condition. A child of the agent of the Cumberland Valley railroad, while climbing down the porch from the fourth floor fell, and is supposed to be fatally injured. Two of the bodies have been found in the ruins, burned to a crisp. One of them is L. TROXELL, of Cumberland, and the other one is unknown. There are six persons missing, supposed to be burnt in the ruins. Fifteen persons were injured seriously from falling and about twenty slightly injured.

List of Casualties.

Baltimore, May 29.--A Sun special from Hagerstown gives the following list of casualties at the burning of the Washington House, this morning: THOS. TROXELL, of Cumberland, was burned to death. Wounded--F. B. Snively, Shady Grove, Pa., internally, will probably die; Mrs. Cushiva, ankle sprained and foot cut; Miss Geary, ankle sprained; J. Marshall Landis, lately of Frederick, severely burned about the face and hands, lacerated by climbing; Christian Hanicha, Cumberland, leg broken, head and face injured; Frank J. Burgess, Baltimore, thigh broken in two places and body cut; Michael Shannon, Cumberland, both wrists and back broken; James H. Exline, Hancock, Md., hip broken. He is the gentlemen who attempted to lower himself with the bed clothes, and while going down the rope broke and he fell three stories. Solomon Jenkins, Hancock, Md., both ankles broken and back injured; C. Herringer, Cumberland, Md., ankle broken. Every room in the hotel was occupied, principally by attorneys, witnesses and others attending Court. Loss on the hotel and furniture, $40,000; insurance, $26,000; loss on the personal property of boarders, $10,000.

The Wheeling Register, Wheeling, WV 30 May 1879