Albany, NY Destructive Fire, Nov 1855


From the Argus, Nov. 19.
Saturday evening, 6 1/2 o'clock, a fire was discovered in the drying-room (third story) of the cedar cooperage of MESSRS. WOOLEY & HARRIS, No. 120 Washington street.
The fire, when first discovered, had made but little headway, and several persons, with the aid of buckets of water, were actively engaged in attempting to subdue the flames. Among the number was JOHN GARDINER, a young man in the employ of MESSRS. W. & H., Policemen CROUNSE and GEISEL, WM. WIGGINS, an employe of TOWNSEND'S furnace, and three lads -- a son of DAVID OSTERHOUT, JESSE WOOLEY and a son of widow PECK.
MR. GARDINER, who was in the third story throwing the water brought to him by others, was actively engaged, when a sudden bursting of the flames, accompanied with a powerful concussion of air, forced him against and out of the loft door. One side of the door was open at the time.
MR. GARDINER was thrown against the other with such force that it was broken from its fastenings and with it he was thrown to the sidewalk. He was picked up mortally injured and conveyed to the residence of his parents, No. 383 Washington street. He lingered until two o'clock yesterday morning. MR. G. was a man, 32 years of age, and had been in the employ of MESSRS. WOOLEY & HARRIS for the past seventeen years. He was noted for his probity and inductry, and at the time of his death was a prominent officer in the Sons of Rechab.
Policeman H. S. CROUNSE and CONRAD GEISEL, who were in the second story, and in the act of ascending to the third, at the time of the explosion, were met with a sheet of flame and hot air with such force that they were thrown out the loft door. Both MR. CROUNSE and GEISEL are severely burned about the face and hands, and MR. C. sustained, beside, a very bad sprain of an ankle.
The three young men above spoken of were also burned, though not so seriously as the policeman.
The fire, which gained headway rapidly, extended east to the dwelling of MR. WOOLEY, burning out the roof, and west to the residence of MR. HARRIS, and also the upper part of building No. 124, owned and occupied by ANDREW CORRISTON, as a dwelling and porter-house.

The New York Times New York 1855-11-21