Brooklyn, NY New American Theatre Collapse, Nov 1921
The body of ALBERT SHERIDAN, a foreman in charge of the wire lathers, was the first recovered. Three other bodies near the front of the building were reached within a short time. They were placed in canvas sacks and carried by firemen to ambulances, which took them to the Kings County Morgue. After that the work of recovery went on more slowly. Several of those recovered were found to be alive, and they received emergency treatment by the surgeons. Ten of the surgeons went inside of the building to search for men with signs of life, so that they would have priority in the rescue work.
Identification of those who had lost their lives was difficult because of the fact that the men were working for so many different subcontractors.
When the theatre collapsed, William Page, brother of Edward Page, who was with his wife in the kitchen of their home next door, was just entering the garage, in the front part of the building. He broke a glass with his arm and ran into the rear of the building, which had been demolished. Hearing a cry, he worked his way into the part of the building occupied by his brother and saw him and his wife hanging from a sink on the slanting wall.
One Sub-Contractor Killed.
Without assistance, William Page got his brother and sister-in-law down and carried them to his own rooms in the front. There they were treated by ambulance surgeons for bad cuts about the face and hands.
The body of PHILIP STEIN, of Stein & Schenckman, sub-contractors doing the cement work, was taken out of the building about 4 o’clock.
Because of the uncertainty of the check-up of the workmen in the building, the rescue work continued last night under the illumination of fifteen big searchlights which were rigged up by the Edison Company. The firemen went in relays to a nearby restaurant for coffee and sandwiches and then took up their labors afresh.
Fire Commissioner Thomas M. Drennan and Albert E. Kleinert, Superintendent of Buildings in Brooklyn, were present throughout the evening. Three ambulances, attended by six surgeons, stood ready to aid in the case of rescues.
This stage of the rescue work was a laborious process. The firemen and workmen had to carry the chunks of brick, stone, lumbar and steel to the street. No attempt was made to move the girders which had fallen. Traffic on Bedford Avenue, between Flushing and Park Avenues was diverted.
Mayor Hylan, accompanied by Francis P. Bent, Commissioner of Contracts, arrived on the scene shortly after 11 o’clock last night. He was met by Deputy Fire Chief “Smoky Joe” Martin. The Mayor climbed over the debris and made his way to the ruins, on which he stood for about 5 minutes watching the firemen work. He then returned to the street, passing a group of firemen trying to move a steel girder.
“Keep up the good work, boys. You are doing splendidly,” said the Mayor.
The New York Times, New York, NY 30 Nov 1921