New York City, NY Brewery Fire, Oct 1881



A fire of unknown origin broke out on the fourth floor of the Continental Brewery, a five-story-brick building on the southeast corner of Greenwich avenue and West Eleventh street, a little before 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. The building has a frontage of 150 feet on Greenwich avenue and 75 feet on West Eleventh street, and is owned and occupied by MESSRS. TRACY & RUSSELL, ale brewers. On the fourth floor was stored a large quantity of hops and malt, and on the floor above were the large cooling vats. So much time elapsed between the discovery of the fire and the sounding of the alarm that when Engine Company No. 18 arrived the flames had traveled along the fourth floor nearly the entire length of the building, and had worked up into the fifth floor. Battalion Chief GLEQUEL ordered a second, and subsequently a third, alarm to be sounded, and Chief BATES, Assistant Chief SHAY, Battalion Chiefs CAMPBELL, BRESNAN, and BONNER, and 15 steamers and 5 hook and ladder trucks were summoned to the spot. The firemen worked hard, but their efforts were baffled to a certain extent by the great height of the building and the fierce gale that was blowing. With the aid of the water tower, which was telegraphed for, they succeeded, however, in confining the flames to the fourth and fifth floors. When 6 o'clock came the fire was completely extinguished, the firemen were withdrawn, and the burned building left in charge of the insurance watchman. The entire fifth floor was gutted and the fourth floor was badly damaged. A large section of the roof was destroyed, and the entire building was flooded with water, destroying great quantities of malt and hops and rendering unfit for use the stock in the brewery. The valuable machinery, tanks, and immense copper kettles and vats used in the brewing process were badly damaged. The loss on stock, machinery, and building is estimated at $75,000. It is covered by an insurance of $170,000 in City, out of town, and foreign companies.

The New York Times New York 1881-10-06