News: Firemen Killed (Milwaukee, Wis. - 1903)

Contact: Stan

Surnames: Maloy, Kennedy, Foley, White, Hogan, Schwab, Droney, Clancey, Lancaster

----Sources: Eau Claire Weekly Telegram (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Thursday, February 05, 1903; Page 1

MILWAUKEE'S GREAT DISASTER CHIEF OF FIRE DEPT. AND THREE OTHERS DIE AS RESULT OF SMALL BLAZE. FOURTEEN OTHERS SERIOUSLY ILL--ALL CAUSED BY INHALATION OF NITRIC ACID. ------- Milwaukee, Feb. G.—Four firemen are dead and fourteen others are said to be seriously ill from the effects of inhaling the fumes of nitric acid, while fighting a fire at the plant of the Schwab Stamp and Seal company Wednesday THE victims of the disaster were not overcome for many hours after the fire, when, one by one, they succumbed.

A complete list of the dead is as follows: James Foley, chief; Andrew White, captain Truck No. 1; Edward Hogan, pipeman; Thomas Droney, pipeman. Assistant Chief Clancey's condition is critical, and the physicians who are watching over him cannot determine his chances of living.

Captain Peter Lancaster is dying and Truckmen William Maloy and William Kennedy are seriously ill. The men became ill during the day and rapidly grew worse. Battling with a small blaze on East Water street, late yesterday afternoon, the apartment in which the firemen were at work was filled with the fumes of a broken carboy of nitric acid. These were inhaled by the firemen. Returning to the engine house. Capt. White was taken sick. Three hours later he was dead. Chief Foley then yielded to the poison gas he had inhaled, and lay down. Seven hours later he, too was dead. Then came the death of Pipeman Hogan.

The occasion which brought about the conditions leading to the death of the men was a small blaze at the plant of the Schwab Stamp & Seal company on East Water street, near Michigan. The cause of their deaths was the inhalation of the Insidious fumes of nitric add while fighting the fire. Fatal as were the effects of the acid, they did not make themselves felt, immediately, and Chief Foley was not overcome until he stood by the bedside of the dying captain of Truck company No. 1 last evening. One by one the men who had inhaled the strong fumes were taken ill and as the fatal sickness grew upon them they sank down or WUTC carried in the arms of their companions to the little cots on the second floor of the Broadway engine house.

The inhaled fumes of the add first irritated tin1 mucous membranes of the bronchial tubes and the lungs and developed in this action until the membrane was cauterized or burned. This resulted in an excessive secretion of mucous in the lungs and caused suffocation.

It is also agreed among the physicians that, the fates of Chief Foley and his men were sealed when the terrible fumes were inhaled. While It was several hours before the men collapsed and medical treatment was summoned.  The doctors say that pro would not have saved their lives.  The agent of death  crept in resolutely and was enthroned in its victims, not to be denied its prey.  

It was the filling up of the lungs with the excessive secretion of mucus that smothered the great fire fighter and his men.  The lungs congested and suffocation with all of its torture, resulted. Intense shock being a contributory cause of dissolution.

----Sources: Colby Phonograph (Colby, Clark County, Wis.) Thursday, 01/22/1903

Firemen Killed.

Just as we go to press Thursday morning we learn from the Milwaukee dailies that Chief James Foley, Capt. Andrew White and Pipemen Edward Hogan and Thomas Droney, of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin fire department, are dead from inhaling the fumes of Nitric acid at a fire which broke out at the Schwab Stamp and Seal company’s plant Tuesday afternoon. All Milwaukee mourns for her brave chief and firemen. The state and nation mourn with her.



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