Boston, MA Harrison Avenue Fire, Feb 1901


Many Persons Jump from the Windows--Two Arrests for Incendiarism.

BOSTON, Feb. 10.--Two persons dead, five others badly injured, and a financial loss of $2,500 is the summary of damage caused by a fire that occurred in a four-story brick dwelling on Harrison Avenue early this morning.

There is a suspicion that the fire is of incendiary origin and two arrests have been made--Harris Leven, aged thirty-eight years, and his wife, Bertha, aged thirty-five years. They are held pending an investigation. Levin had a shoe store on the first floor of the burned building, and the suspicion that naphtha or something of that nature was used, together, with the disappearance of Levin, his wife and four children immediately on the discovery of the fire, was the basis of the arrest.

Men and women jumped from the burning building, and firemen and policemen rescued others from smoke-filled corridors and hallways. The building was occupied by seventeen persons. The fire started on the first floor, and was discovered by a watchman in a building opposite. When he reached the sidewalk the Levin family had just come from the building in their nightclothes.

The second store was occupied by Daniel Hart, his wife, her sister, and Hart's four children. Hart jumped from the second-story window, exit seeming impossible. Following him came his wife, her sister and all of the children. One of the children was badly burned and suffered internal injuries by jumping, and died. Mrs. Hart, who is in a delicate condition, was badly hurt by the fall.

The third story was occupied by Daniel and Thomas Brennan. The latter worked his way out of a back window, and was hanging to a sill and about to fall when he was rescued by firemen. Daniel went to the top of the house, climbed through the attic, and went through the skylight. From there he jumped three stories to a shed, and suffered serious injuries to his lower limbs and may be injured internally.

The fourth story was occupied by Mrs. Francis Riley and Mrs. Barry. Mrs. Riley was overcome by the smoke and was suffocated. Her body was discovered after the flames had been subdued. Mrs. Barry jumped from the fourth floor and is in a precarious condition.

The New York Times, New York, NY 11 Feb 1901