Detroit, MI Tragic Furniture Store Fire, Oct 1894



Detroit, Mich., Oct. 5. -- The furniture store of KENNAN & JOHNS, at 215 Woodward Avenue, was destroyed by fire this morning. The front wall fell into the street, killing five firemen and a spectator, and injuring ten persons, most of whom were firemen.
The dead are:
BALL, MARTIN, pipeman, Engine No. 9.
BUSSEY, FREDERICK A., spectator.
CUMMINGS, JULIA G., Truck No. 2.
DELY, RICHARD, pipeman, Engine No. 9.
DONAGHUE, MICHAEL H., Chemical No. 1.
PAGET, JOHN W., pipeman, Engine No. 9.
The following were injured:
CRONIN, BARTHOLOMEW, pipeman, Engine No. 8.
DRAHEIM, FRED, Engine No. 8; badly hurt.
GRAY, MICHAEL C.; badly hurt.
GURSEY, THOMAS, fireman.
HERRING, HENRY, spectator.
NEWELL, JOHN B., Truck No. 2.
O'ROURKE, PATRICK, Engine No. 8; badly hurt.
STEVENS, E. E., Chemical No. 1; badly hurt.
STOCKS, F. E., pipeman, Engine No. 8.
The floors fell, and the front and rear walls immediately collapsed. The men of Engine Company No. 9, Chemical No. 1, and Truck No. 2 were working in the windows and doors on the ground floors, in front.
In the rear the men of Engine Company No. 8 were playing on the fire from a bridge that spanned the alley. The men were working close to the rear walls, and when the walls collapsed they were buried in the debris. Every man in the company, except the Captain, was more of less injured, and FREDERICK A. BUSSEY, a spectator, who was standing beneath the bridge, was killed.
The work of rescue was immediately begun, and in fifteen minutes the men who had been working in the alley had been taken out.
The firemen working in front of the building did not fare so well. When the first crack of the falling walls was heard, the men started to run, but the walls came down on them, and all were buried under tons of brick and mortar.
The first body recovered was that of Lieut. DONAGHUE, and then the bodies of PAGET, DELY, CUMMINGS, and BALL were taken out in succession. MICHAEL C. GRAY was badly injured, as was also E. E. STEVENS.
The building was a five-story brick, with twelve-inch filled walls, and it is said that it had been condemned as unsafe. The insurance on the building is $10,000, and on the stock about $50,000.

The New York Times New York 1894-10-06