Kaukauna, WI wagon shop fire, Jan 1904


Kaukauna Has Blaze Sunday Morning -

(Special to the Northwestern.)

Kaukauna, Wis., Jan. 25. - With the thermometer 26 degrees below zero and with face and hands frozen, brave Kaukauna firemen battled with a stubborn fire Sunday morning. The blaze started at 2:20 o'clock in the basement paint shop of Pauli's wagon works at the foot of Wisconsin avenue. Adjoining was the blacksmith shop of ex-Alderman Knitter and adjoining this building next stood his home all of the [sic] wooden structures. The fire alarm failed to arouse seven of the twelve men of the fire department so that only five firemen had to fight for about three long hours without any relief in the bitter cold and cutting wind. Fire Chief Henry Schubert in coupling a hose, which he had to with bare hands severely froze the fingers of his left hand also the side of his face and chin. All the men suffered more or less by freezing. Henry Knitter and family were driven from their home by the thick smoke and fire, and did not save a thing. Mr. Knitter only had time to draw on his pants and shoes, loosing [sic] every article of wearing apparel. His loss will be fully $3,000. Insurance, $1,300. Herman Pauli estimates his loss at $1,000, with only $200 insurance. But very few people in Kaukauna knew about the fire until about noon Sunday, as the fire alarm bell gave but a few warning taps when the blaze first started.

The Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh, WI, 25 Jan 1904