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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

Port Washington Star: Port Washington, Wisconsin February 25, 1899,   pp. 11-18

Page 12

conveyed to a safe spot. For six hours it seemed as though the entire city was doomed to
destruction and no one within a half dozen blocks surrounding hesitated to pack up their
valuables and move out.
Meanwhile, and as soon as the disaster to the force pumps and engine became
known, Mayor Chas. A. Mueller wired Milwaukee and Sheboygan for aid. Prompt
response was given and Companys Nos. 4 and 10 from Milwaukee and a company from
Sheboygan were sent here. They arrived here between 11 and 12 o'clock and by excellent
work confined the conflagration within the limits above stated.
At 6 o'clock Monday morning the fire had been so far subdued that it was decided
to send home the Sheboygan company. Milwaukee company No. 4 was sent home at 8
o'clock, while No. 10 remained and worked among the ruins until noon.
Skeletal ruins of the Wisconsin Chair Company
No cause for the origin of the fire has yet been learned although the general
supposition is that it caught from overheated steam pipes. Supt. Holden, who was one of
the first on the scene, gave this story of the progress of the fire: "When it was discovered
in the veneering room we immediately secured several streams from the steam pumps
which had been especially placed in the factory for fire protection and were getting the
blaze well in hand when the fire wall of the factory collapsed on the building built for the

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