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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

Sheboygan County News: Sheboygan, Wisconsin Wednesday, February 22, 1899,   pp. 33-37

Page 33

$280,000. It is not certain whether the company will rebuild. That is the gravamen of the
situation. The competition with the Sheboygan chair factories is so sharp, and so
consuming of profits, that it will naturally make the Port Washington company hesitate to
rebuild. Senator Dennett, the president of the corporation, says it is by no means a
certainty that the factory will rebuild. Everybody hopes it will be rebuilt, but hope does
not always become a certainty."
"The other losses by the fire in Port Washington were $50,000, on which there
was an insurance of $33,000. Port Washington is a thriving and plucky town, and we
hope it will rise stronger than ever from its present misfortune."
Port Washington Suffers a Disastrous Blaze.
Three Firemen Injured by a Falling Chimney---Aid from Milwaukee and
Port Washington, Wis., Feb. 20.---This village was visited by a disastrous fire last
night and the large manufacturing establishment of the Wisconsin Chair company and
about twenty-five other buildings are now in ruins. Two firemen were seriously injured
and one may die.
A little after 9 o'clock last evening fire broke out in the fifth floor of the
Wisconsin Chair company's paint in the veneering rooms. It rapidly spread through the
entire factory, which was soon a mass of flames and which quickly communicated to
adjoining buildings. The walls of the factory gave way and fell onto the pumping and
power station, disabling that for service in furnishing water to quench the fire, and the
only protection was the one small engine of the local fire department, which was almost
powerless to cope with the seething mass of flames, and the fire practically had its own
Appeal for Assistance.
The mayor wired to Milwaukee and Sheboygan as soon as he realized that all of
the buildings in the vicinity were endangered, and a Milwaukee company and one from
Sheboygan responded, arriving shortly before 11 o'clock. In the meantime the people of

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