Fredonia, NY Normal School Fire, Dec 1900
SEVEN LIVES IS THE PENALTY FOR JANITOR'S CARLESSNESS.
NORMAL SCHOOL AND SIX YOUNG LADY STUDENTS.
CONSUMED BY THE FLAMES.
ONE OF THE DEAD MISS SIZZELL OF BRADFORD.
(Special Dispatch to the Press)
Fredonia, N.Y., Dec. 14. -- The most horrible disaster in the history of this city occurred this morning when seven lives were lost in the flames which consumed the Fredonia Normal School. Six of those lost were young lady students and the other the Janitor PHINEAS JACKSON MORRIS, whom it was thought was the cause of the tragedy, as it is believed that sparks from his pipe or a lighted match thrown carelessly into a pile of refuse which later burst into flames. This, however, is only conjecture as it is not positively known just how the fire originated.
It was shortly after 6 o'clock when the blaze was first discovered and the inmates of the building were alarmed.
The flames spread very rapidly, however, and although the work of rescue was pushed as fast as willing hands and hearts could do it, six young lady students of the institution had not been taken out when the ruins caved in.
The dead are:
PHINEAS JACKSON MORRIS, building janitor.
MISS MAUD FIZELL, 21, Bradford, Pa.
MISS INEZ JONES, Busti, Erie County, N.Y.
MISS BESSIE HATHAWAY, Lake Como, Pa.
MISS MAY WILLIAMS, 21, Lake Como, Pa.
MISS CORA STORMS, 21, Eden Center.
MISS RUTH THOMAS, 19, Pike, Pa.
Although aid was summoned from Dunkirk and the fire departments of both cities did their utmost to save the lives and property nothing remains standing but the dining hall and the gymnasium. The loss will exceed $250,000, insurance $100,000. The classes contained their work in the opera house today at 10 o'clock.
The original Fredonia Normal School was built in 1867 but in 1890 owing to a greatly increased attendance an addition as large as the original building was added.
Warren Evening Press Pennsylvania 1900-12-14