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Wester, Kevin J. (ed.) / Consumed by fire : a collection of writings about the famous Wisconsin Chair Company fire, Port Washington, Wisconsin, February 19, 1899
([1997])

Milwaukee Journal: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Tuesday, February 21, 1899,   pp. 64-66


Page 64

MIL WA UKEE JOURNAL
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 1899
BLAMES IT ALL TO THE EXCITEMENT
PORT WASHINGTON'S MAYOR DENIES THAT MILWAUKEE
FIREMEN WERE ILL-TREATED.
POSSIBLE LACK OF COURTESY, DUE TO THE EXCITEMENT,
ADMITTED BY HIM.
PRESIDENT DENNETT OF THE CHAIR COMPANY TELLS THE
JOURNAL ABOUT REBUILDING.
PORT WASHINGTON, Wis., Feb. 21.---Mayor C. A. Mueller denies the
statements made by the Milwaukee city officials that the Milwaukee firemen who came
here to assist in quenching the big fire Sunday night were treated discourteously. He said
that the Port Washington firemen helped all they could and although there was great
excitement at the time, and possibly all points of courtesy did not receive proper
attention, there was no intentional slight to the visitors.
"In regard to the lack of assistance to the Milwaukee firemen when they arrived
here with their machinery," he said to a Journal reporter this morning, "I will say that we
had arranged that they should unload at what we call the grain track, where there was an
elevated platform which would facilitate unloading. Through some misunderstanding of
the railroad men, or lack of proper instruction, the special train from Milwaukee came in
on one of the other tracks and the men who were sent to help them did not know where
they were.
The Port Washington firemen did all they could in handling hose and holding the
streams. Of course they were not able to do much. There were no tall buildings and there
was no necessity of climbing ladders. I was working at the fire all the time and know that
our people did all they could. Every one of our firemen was present and did fairly well.
Of course there are always some people who stay back from the flames, but that couldn't
be helped."
"I was very sorry to hear that one of your brave men died this morning, but I must
say that it was really unnecessary. I was with them almost all the time and saw them
working and although those accidents must occur in occupations of that kind, I do think
that they need not have been in that dangerous locality when the chimney fell."
The Milwaukee persons who saw the fire and are cognizant of the facts, say that
the men of No. 4 were making a desperate fight to check the flames from near their
engine, for if they had been compelled to move they would have had to work at a great
disadvantage. Mayor Mueller, they say, was very busy fighting to save his own property--
-a warehouse filled with tan bark, but did not notice the work of the other people. The


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