Worcester, MA Factory Fire, Nov 1855


The Cordasville Manufactory, near Worcester, Massachusetts, was burned on the 1st inst. There were between eighty and one hundred operatives in the Factory, and so rapid was the flames, that all egress was cut off, and the only alternative was to jump from the windows or be burnt to death.
All the operatives in the third and fourth stories were obliged to jump from the windows. A few in the first and second stories escaped by the stair-way, but most of those in the second, jumped from the windows.

The Boston Journal says:
"It seems almost incredible that from 50 to 70 persons should jump from the 3d and 4th stories of a building, on the hard ground, and that but one should be killed and two others fatally injured. Yet such was the case. Many of those who jumped from the building were walking about in the afternoon some of them without even a limp."
"MARIE CARTER, aged 16 or 17, and the only American girl at work in the mill was killed. She was the superintendent's sister-in-law. MISS CARTER was in the lower story a moment before the alarm was given. The flames actually followed her up the stairs to the third story where she sat at work. She was urged to jump from the window, but she replied, 'I dare not.' A moment after, her clothes caught fire, and was seen falling to the ground - her clothes and hair ablaze. She was taken to her boarding house and lived but an hour or two."

The Weekly Portage Sentinel Ravenna Ohio 1855-11-10