Philadelphia, PA Ferry Boat Fire, Feb 1902


Blaze on the Camden Was Soon Extinguish by Ferry Fire Department


Frightened Passengers Were Landed Safely---Overheated Smoke Stack Caused the Fire

The efficiency of the Pennsylvania Railroad Ferry Fire Department was well demonstrated last evening, when within a few minutes after fire had been discovered on the ferry boat Camden the blaze was completely extinguished, with a trifling loss. The ferry employes[sic], forming as they had been instructed, ran a line of hose to the top of the Camden, and aiding the latter's crew, soon put out the fire.

The fire on the Camden was discovered by the captain of her sister craft, the Baltic, just as the latter was leaving the slip at the foot of Market street. The heavy ice in the Delaware had so impeded navigation that fewer trips than usual were made yesterday afternoon, and when the Baltic started at 5:20 o'clock there were a large number of passengers on board in consequence. The Camden was just outside the dock, waiting to enter.

Passengers Were Landed

When flames were seen darting from the top of the Camden's centre house she was quickly put into her dock and the passengers landed. The ferry bell was rung and Policeman Little turned in an alarm of fire. Every employe[sic] responded to the first call, and as the boat's crew reached the top of the deck with their line of hose they were met by the shore crew. Two tugs put in to aid the Camden, but their assistance was not required.

For a few moments anxiety was high among the passengers waiting to go on the Camden, shut out from the scene of action, yet hearing the fire orders and the clang of the approaching engines. Their suspense lasted but a very short time, for with the arrival at the slip of the city engines the announcement was made that the fire was out. The doors were opened and the passengers boarded the Camden and were ferried across the river.

An overheated smokestack is supposed to have caused the blaze.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 13 Feb 1902