Jamestown, NY Terrible Business Fire, Mar 1910
JAMESTOWN HAS A MILLION DOLLAR FIRE
THE GOKEY BUILDING AND SHERMAN HOUSE TOTALLY DESTROYED AND TWENTY FIRMS SUFFER LOSSES.
Fire Started From Flying EMbers in a Blaze on Saturday, and Continued Until Eight O'clock This Morning.
Jamestown, March 14 -- Shortly after one o'clock this morning a fire broke out anew in the GOKEY factory building and spread so rapidly that before the firemen could rach the scene and get streams of water plying upon them, the flames were beyond control. The fire was an even more spectacular one than that of Saturday night in the same building and in which Foreman JOHN HANSEN of the fire company met his death.
The wind was blowing at possibly thirty miles an hour and huge particles of burning cinders were carried at great distances and the heavens were lighted to that extent that the fire could be seen for miles.
Within fifteen minutes after the new alarm was sounded the east wall of the old factory building fell outward, causing the seething mass of flames to get a new start because of the increased opportunity for the wind to sweep into the fiery furnace. A little later the remaining portion of the south wall which bordered on the alley in the rear of the business block fell in and in a short time the fire was in progress on the rear of the stores and offices of this, one of the largest blocks of the city.
The fire soon communicated to the Sherman House, the leading hotel of the city, and it was evident from the first that the building was doomed. The guests were routed out and valuable articles of furniture were removed from the rear. There was much excitement among the guests and employees of the hotel.
An elevator boy named JONES, employed in the hotel, proved himself a young hero. Through a blazing shaft the boy ran the elevator trip after trip, and rushing through the halls aroused the guests and aided them to escape. When the firemen saw that the hotel was doomed, they ran scores of ladders to the windows and there were several thrilling rescues.
With the burning of the Sherman House, calls for aid were sent out, and firemen from nearby villages arrived in time to be of great service, as the local firemen were well-nigh exhausted, after the fire of yesterday, which, smouldering for several hours, caused the spectacular blaze of today's early morning hours.
Great crowds witnessed the fire and it seems as if the entire population turned out to aid in fighting the flames. By the hardest kind of work the fire was confined chiefly to the Sherman House and the Gokey factory, and office buildings, although many other buildings suffered losses from the flames and water and it seemed at times that the business section in the fire zone would be wiped out.
The fire was under control at eight o'clock, although it continued to blaze and is still burning. The firemen are flooding the ruins.
Fully twenty business firms suffered a total or partial loss. It is estimated that the losses will total nearly a million dollars. Fully fifty guests in the Sherman House suffered minor losses. Four persons are in the hospital, three firemen and the elevator boy, JONES, whose heroic work has been briefly described. Their injuries are not serious.
EARL KING, a fireman was seriously injured by being caught under a portion of the telephone pole at the corner of the Sherman House and the alley. He was taken to the hospital and it was found that he was only bruised.
A man whose name is said to be VORGE was also overcome and taken to the hospital. He was not seriously injured.
The Sherman House was estimated to be worth $200,000 and its equipment and furnishings $40,000. The building was owned by CHARLES SAMUELS and was leased by GEORGE F. HURLBERT. An insurance of about two-thirds the value was carried.
W. N. and GEORGE F. GOKEY carried an insurance of $80,000 on the building, but this will not cover the loss.
In this building were located several law offices and real estate offices, the Jamestown Business College, E. E. DUFFEE'S big dry goods store, the ladies' furnishing store of W. T. WRIGHT, and the dry goods store of the SAXE Brothers Company.
Some of the estimated losses are as follows:
GOKEY business block, loss $150,000; insurance $60,000.
Sherman Hotel building, loss $200,000; insurance $40,000.
E. E. DUFFEE, stock loss, $60,000; insurance $40,000.
SAXE Brothers Company, stock and fixtures loss $18,000; insurance $9,000.
WRIGHT Speciality shop, stock and fixtures, loss $18,000; insurance $9,000.
HURLBERT-SHERMAN Company, equipment, loss $50,000; insurance, unknown.
Postal Telegraph Company, loss $2,000; insurance, unknown.
Chautauqua Traction Company, loss $500; insurance, not known.
Jamestown Street Railway company, loss $500; insurance, not known.
WEEKS' cigar store, loss to stock $500; insurance, unknown.
Jamestown Business College, loss $6,000; insurance $3,000.
FLARRIN and SWANSON'S restaurant, damaged by water.
Chautauqua Electric Company, damaged by water.
Journal Printing Company, damaged by water.
The Olean Evening Times New York 1910-03-11