New York, NY Great Jones Street Building Fire, May 1909


Couldn't See It, but Knew It Was There---Hunt Proves He Was Right.

Fire Chief Croker demonstrated his keen scent for fire last night. He had been to an uptown hotel for dinner, and was returning to his night headquarters, next to the house of Engine 33, in Great Jones Street. As his big automobile turned from Broadway into Great Jones Street, Croker threw back his head sniffed the air, and after a few sniffs signaled to his chauffeur to put on speed. They dashed up to the engine house, and Croker called out the engine.

"I don't know just where the fire is," said Croker, "But it's there just the same."

Followed by the engine, the Chief returned to Great Jones Street and Broadway. After looking around for a while the firemen saw smoke coming from the eighth floor of the twelve-story loft building on the northeast corner of Broadway and Great Jones Street. "I knew there was a fire," said Croker. "I smelt it---I just felt it."

The men of the engine company got into the building and hauled a line of hoses up through the elevator well and attached it to the stand pipes on the eighth floor. An alarm was then turned in and High Pressure Wagon 20 responded.

Fire was found in one corner of the building on the eighth floor smoldering in tables full of men's clothing. A stream for the high pressure upset tables and clothing, and literally drowned the fire. The flames were confined to that one corner of the room, but destroyed a great quantity of men's clothing. Chief Croker estimated the total damage at $15,000.

The New York Times, New York, NY 3 May 1909