Wester, Kevin J. (ed.) / Consumed by fire : a collection of writings about the famous Wisconsin Chair Company fire, Port Washington, Wisconsin, February 19, 1899
Milwaukee Sentinel: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Monday, February 20, 1899, pp. 44-48
MIL WA UKEE SENTINEL MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 1899 FIRE LOSS OF OVER $350,000 PORT WASHINGTON SUFFERS A HEAVY BLOW. WISCONSIN CHAIR CO.'S BIG PLANT BURNED. SIX SQUARES ALSO WIPED OUT OF EXISTENCE. THIRTY FAMILLIES WERE MADE HOMELESS. The Fire Spread Rapidly and the City's Fire Apparatus Gave Out Early, Which Made It Necessary to Call on Milwaukee and Sheboygan for Aid---Two Engines Are Sent From Milwaukee and One From Sheboygan---Great Fright Among the People. Port Washington, Wis., Feb. 20.---At 9:15 o'clock last evening fire broke out in the veneering department of the Wisconsin Chair company and the entire plant is in ashes. At I o'clock in the morning the fire had spread toward the business center and one block of buildings on Franklin street, the principal business thoroughfare, began to burn. The Wilson house, the largest hotel in the city, also caught fire. Chair Company's Loss $350,000 The loss to the chair factory will be $350,000, with about 90 per cent insurance. The losses to the other business houses will probably reach $50,000 more. Two companies of the Milwaukee Fire department and one company of the Sheboygan department have arrived. The Wisconsin Chair company is the largest manufacturing concern in the city and furnished employment for 600 men. It was built ten years ago and comprised a series of buildings which covered three blocks from the river to Washington street and two blocks from Franklin street to the lake. The Wisconsin Chair company was owned by a company made up of State Senator F. A. Dennett, John Dennett and other Port Washington capitalists. Surrounding the buildings were extensive lumber yards and to these the flames extended, until an area of three squares was on fire.
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