Springfield, MA Daily Union Building Fire, Mar 1888 - Seven Victims



SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 8.---There is little to add to the story of the fire which wrecked the Daily Union office and building yesterday. A great deal of adverse criticism is heard on all sides regarding the bungling work of the hook and ladder men, and also what seems the criminal negligence in the matter of fire escapes at the front of the building. The newly-constructed top story was all of pine, painted, and the soft wood partitions aided in quickly spreading the flames to all parts of the editorial rooms. Thomas Donohue, the compositor, had just died at the City Hospital, making the seventh victim of the fire. Fred G. Ensworth, the counting house clerk who went up with the elevator at the last moment and then jumped from a window, is as comfortable as could be expected. He may possibly recover.

The effects of Z. Lansol, the Hungarian compositor, who jumped and was instantly killed and whose body is at the Morgue, were claimed this morning, but the only clue to his identity was a receipt dated Sept. 2, 1887, from the Boston Typographical Union and a bank book. He had about $100 in money. The funeral of Mrs. Hattie E. Farley was held at the First Church this afternoon.

A relief fund for the benefit of those injured in the fire and the families of the killed has been started, and $1,500 has already been subscribed. Medical Examiner T. F. Beck has decided to order and examination in regard to the circumstances of the fire, and will notify Police Justice Wills and District Attorney Hibbard to that effect as soon as a complete list of witnesses can be secured. The ruins of the building are guarded by police, and no work of clearing away the debris is being done: but as soon as the proprietors are ready the Fire Department will continue the search for bodies. It is thought, however, that all who were in the building have been accounted for.

The total loss is roughly estimated at $50,000. The Union's loss will be $12,000, the R. H. Smith Company's $20,000, C. W. Atwood, printer, $10,000; Baker & Co., saddlery, several thousand, while the loss on the building will be $10,000.

The New York Times, New York, NY 9 Mar 1888