Baltimore, MD Residential Section Fire, Feb 1896
Officer J. E. Moxley was at Union station and saw the smoke issuing from the house. He ran to the scene of the fire and found MRS. ARMINGER sitting on one of the second story balconies. LOUIS WHITING was on the other and was making efforts to induce MRS. ARMINGER to get on the balcony with him so he could lower her down. She was frantic.
Her cries were pitiful as the heavy smoke poured out of the window over her head.
"Jump!" shouted the firemen and policemen who held the nets.
"Don't jump," shouted some rattled-brained person in the crowd and the poor woman whose house and family were being burned dird not know what to do.
there was the wildest excitement in the attempt to rescue those at the windows. A ladder was thrown up to the second-story front window, but it wouldn't reach. Chief McAfee rushed up, and without a moment's hesitation, recouted to the top standing on his toes he called to MRS. ARMINGER.
She came to him and McAfee with a superhuman effort passed her down to the other brave firemen on the ladder beneath. She was taken to the home of James West, No. 5 North Avenue, where she was tenderly cared for and is still in ingnorance of the awful fate of her husband, children and grandchildren.
The crowd around the building had increased to hundreds by the time the ladders were up. People going to church stopped to see the poor people carried down the ladders. The smoke had increased in density and the front of the house was hardly visible. At one of the third story windows appeared the face of a man.
A look of agony, such as many of the spectators never expected to see was there. He raised the window, and reaching out his hands shouted to the multitude below. They sent him back an encouraging shout, and he left the window.
When the firemen went into the room after the flames had been extinguished they found the burned body of a man. It was HAROLD MANUEL, and he had been suffocated by smoke. In his arms was little RICHARD RILEY, dead.
In the hallway leading from the front bedroom, which space had been occupied by MR. and MRS. ARMIGER, was found JAMES R. ARMIGER. In his arms was little MARIAN RILEY. Both were dead.
It appeared that the grandfather had tried to go down stairs with the child and that the flames and smoke had overcome him before he reached the top of the landing. His body was carried across the street.
MR. RILEY was found dead in the second floor back room. His face was blackened and his night clothes were half burned off. He had evidently tried to get to the stairway which led to the floor below.
He was near the doorway which, in addition to the door was draped with portieres. All the furniture in the room was scorched, even the paper on the ceiling being cracked and blistered.
Those who saw the awful leap for life of ALICE J. WILLIAMS, one of the colored servants, will not forget it to their dying days. About 200 bystanders who noticed the outpouring clouds of smoke, were on the opposite side of the street.
Suddenly at the fourth story window appeared a frightened shrieking woman. She tore up the window with a crash, and leaned out far over the pavement.
"Don't jump, don't jump," shrieked a hundred voices. She stepped back and wrung her hands. She left the window and again appeared. The she leaned out again and appeared to be trying to call something to those below.
"Don't jump," yelled a man waving his high silk hat at her.
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