Wellesley, MA Girls Dormitory Burns, Mar 1914
DARING END, 400 GIRLS ARE DRIVEN FROM BEDS BY FIRE.
COLLEGE HALL IS BURNED.
MILLION DOLLARS' DAMAGE DONE TO WELLESLEY'S MAIN BUILDING.
TWO FROM TRENTON AMONG THE RESCUED.
BIG DORMITORY IS EMPTIED IN THREE MINUTES BY QUICK WORK OF THE GIRLS' BRIGADE.
Wellesley, Mass., March 17. -- Four hundred and ten girls, many of them only partly clad, escaped from College Hall, the main dormitory and administration building of Wellesley College, when fire broke out at 5:30 o'clock this morning and destroyed the building with a loss estimated at $1,000,000.
MARY O'MAHONEY, chief of the college fire brigade, directed the rescue work, arousing the girls and rushing them into the campus. Through the quick work of the brigade of girls, the big building, more than 400 feet long and five stories high, was emptied in three minutes with a minimum of hysteria and fright.
MARY SMITH, secretary to the Dean of the college, rushed into the smoke-filled administrative offices and saved the dean's records, the only college records saved.
A general alarm brought all the Wellesley fire apparatus and later aid was summoned from Newton, but the building was almost entirely wrapped in flames before the firemen had their hose lines trained on it. It was impossible to check the flames and there was time to save only a few bits of furniture from the lower floors. It is believed the blaze started in the laboratory.
The girls, after they had escaped from the burning building were cared for and coffee and sandwiches were provided. Most of them insisted on seeing the fire through, however, and were joined by hundreds of girls from the other college buildings.
At chapel, which was held as usual, President HELEN PENDLETON announced that the college will be closed until the end of the regular spring vacation time, April 7. There was not a girl in the school, it was said, who did not attend classes in College Hall, which is a combined dormitory, class room and administration building.
MISS FLORENCE S. PARKER, daughter of DR. and MRS. GEORGE H. PARKER, of East State Street, and MISS LUCRETIA TRAVER, daughter of MR. and MRS. CLAYTON L. TRAVER, of North Clinton Avenue, are students at Wellesley. The former roomed in the burned building and it is supposed she lost many of her belongings. MISS TRAVER rooms in Stone Hall, which was not damaged.
Trenton Evening Times New Jersey 1914-03-17