William Bauman, Obituary/Death NoticePorter County obituaries and death notices . . . .

William Bauman

Sash and Door Company at Michigan City Burns -- One Life Lost.
"Tabbie" Bauman Burned to Death -- Number of Houses Destroyed.

At eleven o'clock Wednesday forenoon, the people of Chesterton were startled to hear the bog whistle at the Michigan City penitentiary roar in a way that indicated distress. At first it was supposed that another lot of convicts had escaped, but this idea was soon dispelled by great clouds of smoke rising to the sky in that direction. The telephone brought the news that Michigan City was burning. The Michigan City Dispatch tells the story as follows:

An awful explosion occurred in the Michigan City sash and door factory Wednesday morning about 11 o'clock, which resulted in one of the most disastorous fires that has visited this city in a number of years. The first intimation that the employes of the building had that anything was wrong was when the explosion occurred. Herman Lukow and Wm. Bauman, two painters, went to the oilroom, which is situated in the center of the large building, carrying a lighted latern. Bauman was just drawing the oil when the latern exploded, setting fire to the oil just drawn. Louis and John Schwartz, two brothers, heard the explosion and ran to the assistance of the two men. Lukow and Bauman were found lying on the floor, having been overcome by the fumes of the benzine. The Schwartz boys dragged Lukow out, and Louis Schwartz returned to get Bauman, when two barrels of benzine exploded, knocking him over and burning him in a terrible manner. He was dragged out by his brother, who had in the meantime notified the office of the fire, and poor Bauman had to be left to his fate.

Without a moment's notice the whole building was a mass of flames and the terrible fumes of the smoke of burning oil made it impossible for the employes to stop for anything. They rushed out of the building, leaving their tools and clothes behind them. The flames shot upward from the oilroom to the roof and then spread throughout the entire building, which was nearly a block in length. The doors and windows were all open and in less than five minutes the whole interior was a mass of flames. The immense stock of manufactured goods in the building burned like tinder, and although the fire department responded promptly there was no possible hope of saving the building. The steamer and all the companies were called out and over a dozen streams of water were playing on the building, but the strong wind which was blowing fanned the flames furiously and nothing could stay them.

The interior of the building was a furnance of fire, which another explosion of benzine occurred, which caused the roof to fall in. This added fuel to the flames and in a half hour the great building was a total loss, the only part left standing being a brick wall at the west end. The heat from the burning structure was intense and windows a half a block away were cracked and broken. The wind continued to blow from the north and it was seen that extra measures must be taken to sace adjoining property. At the west of the factory were three one-story frame cottages, which were soon ablaze. From these and the large building cinders were carried across the street to the houses on the south side of the street and in less than an hour many of these hourses were a mass of flames. The residents living in the block between Pine and Spring streets, south of the fire, hastily removed their furniture to a place of safety. George Staiger's fine residence, directly opposite the spot was the first to catch. From this the flames spread to a house on the left, which was in the course of construction, having just had the roof put on. Just back on left of this house were a number of small frame buildings built were close to each other, and the flames spread to these sweeping them away in a few minutes, the inhabitants saving the most of their furniture. The wind at this point changed slightly to the northwest and a small story and a half house was next in the track of the fire, and was consumed in a few moments. By this time the strenuous efforts of the firemen began to get the fire under control. The wind then died down to some extent, and by 1:30 all danger to surrounding property was past.

The rapidity with which the flames spread gave some of the people in the burning district scarcely time to remove their household goods. Over a hundred men were busy carrying things from the burning district to places of safety, and although things were removed as far south as Michigan street it looked for a time as if the fire could not be controlled before it had gutted the entire block.

The fire was the first to occur in this city which has resulted in the loss of life in many years. Many of the employes of the sash, door and blind factory had narrow escapes for their lives, the smoke so suddenly filled the entire building. A number of firemen and others who were aiding in removing the fixtures, books and papers from the offices of the Sash and Door and Colborn Lumber companies were nearly overcome.

The Losses.
The losses are estimated as follows:
Sash, Door and Blind Co. -- Loss, $56,000. Insurance, $36,000.
A. R. Colborn -- Loss, $1,500. No insurance.
Geo. J. Staiger -- Loss, $3,000. Insurance, $2,500.
Thos. Shreve -- Three houses; loss, $3,000. Insurance unknown.
Mrs. Sheridan -- Furniture damaged by water.
Al Hulling -- Furniture, total loss.
Dave Clark -- Furniture damaged.
Gus Brown -- Furniture, partial loss.
Albert Anderson -- Furniture, total loss.
Bert Angier -- $1,000. No insurance.
Chas. Daynoff -- Two houses; loss, $500. No insurance.
Billy Lindell -- Two houses; losss, $1,000. Insurance unknown.
David Talbott -- Loss, $500. Insurance, $400.
Mrs. Hallock -- Loss, $100. No insurance.
W. D. Bailly -- Furniture, loss $600. $500 insurance.
Chas. Meachem -- Furniture, damaged by water.

Newspaper: The Westchester Tribune
Date of Publication: July 31, 1897
Volume Number: 14
Issue Number: 16
Page: 5
Column(s): 3 and 4

Key to Newspaper Publication Locations:
    Newspapers Published in Chesterton, Porter County, Indiana
                Chesterton Tribune
                The Tribune
                Westchester Tribune

    Newspapers Published in Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana
                Porter County Vidette
                Practical Observer
                Valparaiso Practical Observer
                Vidette and Republic
                Western Ranger

The obituaries and death notices appearing on this website have been transcribed exactly as they were originally published in the newspaper. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of obituaries and death notices appearing on this website.

Obituary/death notice transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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