Washington, DC Opera House Fire, Dec 1886


Washington, Dec. 5. -- Shortly before 3 o'clock this morning a fire was discovered under the stage of HERZOG'S Opera House, in this city, which in a short time enveloped the whole building in flames. Aided by a strong wind and the inflammable material in the Opera House, the flames soon gutted the whole building from cellar to attic. Tonight nothing but the brown stone ice covered outer walls are standing. Buildings in the vicinity were seriously endangered, but were saved by the strenuous exertions of the firemen and the fact that they were covered with snow, which had been falling all night and was still descending. The building was erected by the Young Men's Christian Association and its large hall in the second and third stories was formerly used for concert and lecture purposes, whence it derived the appellation of Lincoln Hall. For a few years past the hall has been occupied as a theatre, doing business at popular prices and was named HERZOG'S Opera House. The building, it is said, is still owned by the Young Men's Christian Association, but is heavily mortgaged. The loss on the building is $115,000; insurance, $75,000. The losses and insurances of occupants of the building are as follows:
H. ADLER, notions, $20,000; insurance, $10,000.
J. K. STRAUSBURGER, present proprietor of the Opera House, $15,000; insurance about one-third.
H. C. SPENCER, business college, $5,000; fully covered by insurance.
A. S. PRATT & Son, insurance agents, $4,000; fully covered by insurance.
LEWIS BARR, sewing machines and patterns, $8,000; insurance about $3,000.
HENDERSON & Co., wall paper, $30,000; insurance unknown.
S. S. SHEDD, gas fixtures, (estimated,) $85,000; insurance unknown.
The fire is believed to have been due to incendiarism on the part of a discharged employe, or to gross carelessness of the fireman. JAMES WEST, colored, a servant, is missing and is supposed to have perished in the flames.

The New York Times New York 1886-12-06