New York City, NY Hotel Winton Fire, Feb 1905



One woman lost her life and fifteen others escaped in nightclothes only by the aid of firemen and the police in the first ten minutes of a fire in the Hotel Winton, at the southeast corner of Park Avenue and One Hundred and Tenth Street, early yesterday morning. The hotel is the one in which BRODIE L. DUKE and his wife stopped for several days a month or so ago.
ADOLPH SCHURMAN, the night clerk, found a fire on the second floor, and sent SAMUEL MUELLER across the street to turn in an alarm from a call box there. MUELLER opened the box and gave the key a twist, but the alarm was not sent, for some reason, at that time, and the firemen were delayed. When the firemen did arrive, in answer to a second call, the escape of some guests was cut off completely as far as the stairs were concerned. Others stood shivering in their nightclothes on fire escapes, and still others were floundering about in rooms and halls, scared and stupefied by the thick smoke.
Ladders were run up the Park Avenue side of the hotel in a jiffy. In a minute or two more the firemen were hurrying down the ladders with scantily clad women over their shoulders. Nearly all of the men in the place had meanwhile got out safely. In the rear of the building, however, a man and a woman were found, standing on a fire escape, and apparently about ready to jump. Fireman FERRIS shouted to them to hold out a minute or two longer, and a ladder was quickly run up to them. They were safely landed on the ground, althought the flames had slightly burned them.
When the fire was pretty well under control Fireman McGIRR took a run through the fourth floor, which had been densely filled with smoke. In the hallway, so near to the door of Room 26 that it was at first supposed that the woman had occupied that room, he came upon the body of a woman who was dead as the result of burns. A search was made through Room 26, and in it was found a small alligator skin chatelaine bag which contained a lot of cards with this name engraved upon them: "MISS LYDIA THEMEL, 1539 Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia." Several hours afterward it was learned that the owner of the cards was still alive. That left the identity of the dead woman unknown. The fire caused a damage of about $40,000 to the hotel, which was badly damaged inside.

The New York Times New York 1905-02-18