St. Louis, MO Christian Brothers College Fire, Oct 1916

Christian Brothers College College Ruins Burnt Shell Front View

C. B. C. BURNS AT ST. LOUIS EARLY YESTERDAY MORNING.

TWO INVALID MEMBERS OF THE TEACHING SQUAD ARE TRAPPED ON 5TH FLOOR.

ATTENDANT PROBABLY FATALLY INJURED.

THIRTY OF FACULTY AND 105 BOARDING STUDENTS ESCAPE -- DAY STUDENTS HAD NOT ARRIVED -- TWO WINGS SAVED.

St. Louis, Oct. 5. -- Ten persons are now said to have lost their lives in the C. B. C. fire. They are:
The two aged Brethern who were burned to death in their beds.
The attendant was killed by his sixty foot leap.
The night watchman who was suffocated.
The five firemen, two of whom were lieutenants who last their lives when the fire wall fell.
The fire was finely[sic] put out at seven o'clock tonight but the firemen continued to pour water on the smouldering ashes. Further search is being made in the ruins to find whether any one as been killed and not missed.
Priests are here from six churches saying the last sacraments over the two Brethern burned to ashes in the ruins.

St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 5. -- The main or central section of the historic Christian Brothers' College, at King's highway and Easton avenue, was practically destroyed by fire today, which started about 7:20 a.m., and two aged and infirm members of the Catholic teaching order were killed. An attendant, not a member of the order, was fatally hurt.
Brother CARMINE, 93 years old, and Brother CLEMENT, 72, were trapped by the flames in the infirmary on the fifth floor and all hope that they had escaped was given up a short time after the fire started.
LEWIS NOLEAN, 35 years old, of Morrisonville, Ill., assistant nurse in the infirmary, who had been detailed to care for the two aged brothers, dropped from the window of the infirmary while firemen were attempting to rescue him with scaling ladders and a life net. He was taken to St. John's Hospital, where it was said he could not recover.
At 11:45 seven firemen were plunged into the basement when part of the roof of the four story west wing of the college collapsed.
Within 5 minutes three of the firemen were taken out. They seemed to be seriously injured. The other four were still in the ruins.
All of the 105 boarding students and the 30 brothers were in the basement dining room when the fire was discovered. Under the direction of Brother JAMES, the students marched from the building, not knowing there was a fire until they were outside.

Fire Burns Two Hours.
The fire burned fiercely for more than two hours and attracted a great crowd which swarmed over the spacious grounds surrounding the college. Because of the building's high location the smoke could be seen from many sections of St. Louis and the county.
So far as could be learned the fire started at the fourth or fifth floor level near a freight elevator shaft on the north side of the building. There were no passenger elevators in the structure.
The central section destroyed was the original college building. It was about 80 feet wide and nearly 200 feet deep and was surmounted by a dome-like cupola and a roof observatory on which was said to be one of the most complete wireless telegraph stations in the West.

Two Wings Saved.
Two wings to the east and west of the central structure were saved. They were four stories high and of later construction than the main building.
Brother ABBAN, the college registrar, discovered the fire and ran to turn in an alarm from a fire box inside the building. On the way to the box he informed Brother LAWRENCE JOSEPH, who went to the basement dining room, where the students and brothers were at breakfast, and whispered to Brother JAMES that the two upper floors of the college were burning.
There was no excitement. Clapping his hands to attract attention, Brother JAMES said: "The first division will march out in order through the east wing."
When the first division of students had obeyed the order he gave the same command to the second division and in less than five minutes all the students had marched from the building.

Estimate Loss at $320,000.
Brother JAMES, vice-president of the college, told a reporter that when the main section was built in the late 70s it cost nearly $750,000. This, he said, was partly due to the fact that all the interior woodwork was of the most expensive rosewood and mahogany. The present value of the main building, he said, had been estimated to be $320,000. The exact amount of the insurance carried on the building could not be definitely stated.

Moberly Daily Index Missouri 1916-10-06