1897 - BIG CONFLAGRATION. THE BURNING OF VESSELS IN PORT AT NEWPORT NEWS.
SEVERAL PERSONS INJURED.
DAMAGE OF OVER $2,000,000 WAS DONE TO THE SHIPPING IN THE HARBOR, TWO STEAMERS AND A GERMAN SHIP BEING DESTROYED.
Newport News, Va., April 28. - Fire broke out in the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad company's pier No. 5, and before the flames were checked damage to the extent of $2,000,000 had been done. Two of the company's immense piers were destroyed, three vessels burned to the water's edge, a tugboat entirely destroyed and eight persons burned, some of them seriously.
The flames were discovered in pier 5 and spread with such rapidity that it was impossible to make any headway against them. A fierce north wind fanned the flames furiously and swept them across the docks to pier 6, which was soon also burning furiously.
The British steamer Clintonia, which was loading with oil, tobacco and general merchandise at pier 5, was soon ablaze. Tugs pulled her out into the middle of the river, where she was burned to the water line.
The Norwegian steamship Solveig, which was loading grain at pier 5, next caught. The crew managed to escape by climbing down the hawsers to the pier.
Meanwhile the Chesapeake and Ohio tug Wanderer, which had caught fire, had burned to the water's edge. The German sailing ship J. D. Bischoff, taking on staves from the north side of pier 6, also caught, and she went to the bottom.
The crew of this vessel had a very narrow escape from being cremated. The large grain elevator of the Chesapeake and Ohio company was saved.
The injured so far as known are as follows:
Captain FOREST of the tug Wanderer, slightly burned about the face and hands.
JOHN DIGGS, mate of the Wanderer, badly burned about the head and arms.
Captain KRITE of the ship Bischoff, perhaps fatally burned, and the boatswain of the same vessel, who was terribly burned about the arms.
There are vague rumors of many persons having lost their lives, but they cannot be traced to any reliable source.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad company estimate their loss at about $300,000, which is fully covered by insurance.
The total loss, including the three ships and their cargoes, the tug Wanderer and the merchandise on the piers, will probably reach $2,000,000.
The steamship Clintonia was owned by Robinson & Sons, North Shields; the Solveig by C. M. Michelson & Sons, Bergen and the J. D. Bischoff by J. J. Bischoff, Bremen.
Trenton Evening Times
Trenton, New Jersey
April 28, 1897
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