Baltimore, MD Fire, Jun 1906


Baltimore Is Visited By Monster Fire


Two Lives Believed To Have Been Lost In The Conflagration


Baltimore, Md., June 13.--The greatest fire since the conflagration of 1904, involving a property loss of about $1,000,000 and the probable sacrifice of two lives, occurred at an early hour this morning on the water front.

For a time the entire harbor front was threatened on the north side, the flames being with difficulty kept within the confines of the wharf of the Merchants & Miners Transportation company, and on the south side a stubborn battle being fought to prevent a wholesale destruction of property by fire spread from the steamship Essex and six barges which were burned.

The fire started at 1:30 o'clock but at 5 o'clock was out. At that hour the flames on the Essex had been extinguished and the shell of the vessel was badly listed from the water in her hold.

Two members of the crew of the Essex are believed to have burned to death or jumped overboard and were drowned.

Their names are:

Edward Atkinson, cabin assistant, John Costello, second steward.

Five other men were forced to make flying leaps to a tug from the deck of the Essex.

On the South side of the harbor the packing house of Moore and Brady company was damaged, the steamer Minnie Wheeler of the Bltimore[sic], Chesapeake & Atlantic Steamboat company, and a cotton shed of the Merchants & Miners Transportation company were partially destroyed. They caught fire from the barges and the Essex when they floated across the harbor, after being cut loose from their moorings.

Six scows and barges lying alongside the wharf were completely destroyed. A number of them were towed out into mid-stream, so as to prevent them from setting fire to adjoining property.

To[sic] barges and scows were loaded with cotton and rosin, which blazed fiercely.

Residents living in the neighborhood became panic stricken and the police assisted many women and children to places of safety.

Two old women living on Block street locked themselves in tac room of a small house that was on fire, and the police had to break in the door and remove them by force. Another woman, very ill and supposed to be dying at the time, was removed to the city hospital.

The fire originated in a district surrounded except on the water side by extensive lumber yards, but the direction of the wind saved these from destruction.

At a later hour the bodies of Atkinson and Costello were recovered from the wrecked steamer Essex as was also the body of Manuel O'Delle, fireman, whose head was completely burned off his body. The three bodies were recovered with great difficulty from a position amidship the vessel.

Two other men, who have not yet been accounted for, are supposed to have lost their lives by being burned to death, or by being drowned when they leaped from the burning vessel.

Portsmouth Herald, Portsmouth, NH 14 Jun 1906