Batavia, NY St. James Hotel Fire, Jan 1886



Batavia, N. Y., Jan. 8. -- At 2 o'clock this morning the St. James Hotel, the leading hotel in town, a large four-story brick building containing 80 rooms, was discovered to be in flames. The fire had started from a pipe from the furnace which ran to the roof alongside an elevator shaft, and had broken out and spread almost simultaneously on all the floors. The fire alarm was promptly sounded, and the firemen rendered assistance to the occupants of the building, of whom there were 33. J. H. JUDD, of Syracuse; E. CONDON, of Elmira, and J. H. BENNETT, of Auburn, the only transient guests in the house, were rescued by the hook and ladder company.
BENNETT, lost a part of his clothing, $150 in money, and a gold watch and chain. MR. and MRS. F. S. WOOD, whose sleeping room was next to the elevator shaft, were the first to leave the house. They were obliged to rush through sheets of flame, and, being scantily clothed, were quite badly burned. Several boarders jumped from the third story to the roof of the dining room, which was one story high, and were assisted to the ground. Two of them were scorched before they left their rooms. The male help all slept on the fourth floor, and all were more or less badly burned. ANDREW FLACH, yardman, and PATRICK GREEN, bus driver, were in a desperate strait, and jumped to a portico over the main entrance and were seriously injured. FLACH had both arms broken, and is suffering from concussion of the brain. His condition is precarious. It is feared that GREEN is internally injured.
The female help slept in a remote part of the building, and saved themselves. The hotel was built in 1835 to replace one burned on the same site the year before, which was put up in 1824, but it has frequently been enlarged and remodeled. It was owned by A. G. COLLINS, and valued at $40,000. The lessee and landlord was Capt. O. C. PARKER. COLLINS has insurance of $22,000, and PARKER'S loss is covered by insurance of $9,000. CORA E. MALLET'S fancy goods store and CATCHPOLE & CONDON'S shoe store, in the hotel block, were destroyed. The former has an insurance of $2,000, and CATCHPOLE & CONDON, who had owned their stock but two days, were insured for $1,500.

The New York Times New York 1886-01-09