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Philadelphia, PA Grand Central Theater Fire, Apr 1892

The first, second, third and fourth floors were occupied by Dekoskens & Hetherington, art metal workers. Their plant was one of the most valuable of its kind in the country.

The losses as near as can be estimated are as follows: Central theater building, $82,000, insurance $40,000; costumes and scenery.

“Devil’s Auction” company, $16,000, insurance $7500; “Twelve Temptations,” $18,000, insurance $7500; “Sea King,” $22,000, no insurance.

The Times estimates its loss at about $350,000 exclusive of its files and Colonel McClure’s library. The whole is insured at about two-thirds its value.

Dekosenke & Hetherington’s loss is at least $100,000; Hamilton & Deissinger’s $75,000, partially insured. Other losses aggregate $150,000.

Those most seriously injured and who are being cared for at the Pennsylvania hospital are:

CLARENCE RIDLEY, very badly burned on hands and face.
ROBERT JAUNTY, severely burned about the face.
A. G. CAMPBELL, face and hands peeled off by flames.
GEORGE GENTER, severely burned on right side.
ROBERT FRASER, body burned and leg broken.
ROGER CINUE, clothes burned off and body scorched.
CLAUDE SHARPE, right side badly burned; fatally.
FELIX CILDERBERG, back scorched and suffering intensely.
FRANK ROBINSON, badly burned; probably fatally.
JEFFERSON HONS, left side badly scorched.
JOHN GORMAN, right side badly scorched.
I. F. CROCKER, burned on the face and injured by broken glass.
W. H. MATOOX, scorched left side and leg.
JOHN WARD, badly scorched; will die, no doubt.
JOHN MCCAULEY, face and chest injured.
W. A. MORRIS, seriously burned about the lower part of the body.
RUDOLPH PATTERSON, burned about the lower limbs.
F. O. HENDERSON, badly burned about the body.
GORNELL P. LONG, seriously injured by smoke and burned about the body.

Besides the above, some twenty-five patients who suffered from comparatively slight injuries had their injuries dressed at the Jefferson hospital aid [sic] left without giving their names.

PHILADELPHIA, April 28. – The distruction [sic] of the Grand Central theater by fire last night proves to have been far more terrible in its results than was anticipated.

Six members of the “Devil’s Auction” company lie dead beneath fallen walls of the building and nearly three score people are in the hospitals suffering from burns. Of the men and boys in the hospital, seven are in such a serious condition that their recovery is doubtful. All were members of the audience.

Besides those who were seriously enough hurt to remain in the hospitals, fully fifty others were treated for minor injuries. The unfortunate members of the company who lost their lives are:

THOMAS LORELLA, grotesque, and his wife FLORA, a ballet dancer.
VINCENTINA CHITTEN, premier danseues, one of the Chitten sisters.
MISS FANNIE CONNERS, juvenile, residence Chicago.
MRS. SARAH GOLDEN, ballet dancer, residence Chicago.
WILLIAM L. BROOKS, leading man of the company, residence Philadelphia.

The injured in the hospital who are likely to die are all suffering from burns about the face and head and from having inhaled the flames. In addition to the serious condition of the above it is feared that many will lose their eyesight as their burns are all mostly about the face.

By the light of day the destruction wrought by the fire was made more apparent and the desolation of the scene more terrible as it was without the accompanying grandeur given by the columns of flames shooting skyward above the tallest buildings. The ruin of the Central theater is complete only the front wall remaining standing. The other walls have fallen and fill the space they formerly enclosed. Directly back of the theater but a shell remains of the eight story building occupied by the Times.

The row of stores to the east of the two burned structures and facing on Eighth street and extending from Walnut to Sansom street are almost completely gutted by fire and water. Last night’s estimate placing the loss at $1,000,000 is about correct.

The Aspen Weekly Times, Aspen, CO 30 Apr 1892

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