Baltimore’s Gravid Flak of 1904 and Its Bequest – Re-create

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Baltimore’s Heavy Flak of 1904 and Its Bequest

Updated on January 3, 2018

Dolores Monet


A womb-to-tomb occupant of Baltimore, Dolores loves to parcel her concern in the historical floater of her beautiful and way-out family townspeople.

Touch Source

Big Baltimore Flack Ravaging

Baltimore Street and Hopkins Office | Germ

It was the morn of February 7, 1904. A piling of excelsior had caught ardour in a dry goods fund and scatter, fastball and oestrus holloa upward. The ensuing plosion shook the repose Sunday streets of Baltimore.

So began the Expectant Baltimore Attack, a inferno that would tan 140 land of downtown Baltimore, 70 metropolis blocks, destroying o’er 1500 buildings and combustion out 2500 businesses. The ardor threw 35,000 multitude idle and sent the metropolis into a upheaval of flames and hummer for two years.

Ahead the Flak

Baltimore regime had farseeing been witting of the terror of flack. In 1747, metropolis ordinances needful abode owners to sustenance ladders marvellous plenty to compass their ceiling top-notch and forbade the use of extremely combustible fuels. By 1763 an unionised unpaid blast section was in situation, assisted, by 1769, by mitt powered pee pumps. The building of connected wooden buildings in engorged areas of the metropolis was illicit in 1799.

Voluntary ardor fighters were lauded as heroes in the betimes parting of the Nineteenth c and marched in parades. A hooligan pridefulness highly-developed as unpaid companies occasionally erupted in bibulous brawls or all out riots. Buy the mid Nineteenth c a smell of sophism led Baltimore to produce pro companies of regulated blast fighters.

The Remains Street Flack erupted on the daybreak of July 25, 1873 in a trash bin at a waistband and unsighted mill. The ardor apace ranch as workers jumped from windows. Panic-stricken citizenry plugged dealings and looters took vantage of the confusedness. Ahead the firing was contained at 4:00 PM, 100 buildings cover 4 blocks were ruined.

Baltimore Belatedly Eighteenth 100 Woodwind Houses

Identical few of these recent Eighteenth hundred wooden committed houses stay in Baltimore | Beginning

Enceinte Baltimore Blast Erupts 2/7/1904

On the dawn of Sunday, February 7, 1904, a passage individual watcher noticed hummer gushing from the cellar of Hurst and Accompany, a dry goods line situated on the southward slope of German (now Sequoia) Street betwixt Impropriety and Hopkins Post. Concisely ahead 11:00 AM, a hotness excited attack alarum alerted the flak section.

The ardour section responded chop-chop and a bunch collected as smoking began to swarm from the 4th storey windows. Firefighters stony-broke kill a threshold, causation a backdraft. A erect potation shooting up an lift lance as o reentered the burn edifice, igniting combustible gasses.

The resulting detonation created a dire holloa and a phone ilk roll roaring coursed the narrow-minded streets. The impact wafture threw mass to the land a one-half blocking outside.

Collapsing walls broken flak active equipment and flames leapt to an contiguous edifice whose frontal had been discredited by the blowup. Firebrands and sparks snap done winded out windows and a backbreaking sw hint spread-out flames polish the streets.

As one construction collapsed, a attack sawbuck named Colossus veered acutely forth. Contempt his adust bod, the immense Percheron dragged his squad, various firing fighters, and their equipment to rubber done an obstruction trend of electrocution junk.

Vivid heating unbroken firefighters cornered as shot flames kindled powder stored in a nearby warehouse, resulting in a arcsecond detonation.

Steamer powered flak engines lacked mightiness to stroke weewee supra irregular stories. The attack became a tempestuous out-of-control conflagration. By 11:40 AM, regime requested assist from Washington DC.

The Hurst Edifice Quarter-hour Astern the Appal


Stiff of the Hurst Construction


Ardor Fighters Circa 1904

DC firing fighters | Germ

Flack Burns Out of Controller

Fortuitously, the concern and fiscal territory was moderately vacate on a Sunday morn. But daybreak church goers collected, hypnotized by the play. Businessmen hurried to hit documents, goods, and cash from buildings in the route of the blazing. Teamsters arrived with horses and wagons to help in the remotion of goods, spell thongs of businessmen bid for their services. Streets became clotted as crowds interfered with patrol background up roadblocks and the passageway of flack equipment.

By noontide, Baltimore law requested out of province help.

When DC attack fighters arrived on the vista, they observed that their equipment was not compatible with Baltimore hydrants.The Gravid Baltimore Blast by Pecker B Peterson; Maryland Historic Lodge; Baltimiore Maryland; 2004″Baltimore’s Heavy Flak;” Harpist’s Hebdomadal ; 2/13/1904; from the leger Baltimore When She Was What She Ill-used to Be 185- – 1930 ; Marion E. Warren and Mame Warren; JHU Pressing; Baltimore, Maryland; 1983On-line Sources:

Patch the Philadelphia and New York firing fighters fought flames from the movement in edict to foreclose the ardor from dissemination to early structures, Baltimore ardor fighters attempted to quench flames from the position or bottom in a edifice that was already bey trust.

A few job owners were able-bodied to write their buildings. Workers at the Jackson caller on Lombard dear Impropriety Street mantled wet blankets complete the bound of the ceiling, holding the framework pure end-to-end the ordeal.

Reserves Holding Dorsum the Crowds


Sunday Eventide

By 4:00 PM, the galvanising street cars failed. Fortuitously, the Baltimore & Ohio RR Send stood on the outskirts of the flack partition. Manlike and distaff volunteers trundled wheelbarrows and baskets of char from the send to fire the steamer powered engines.

The trains brought flak fighters and equipment from as far as New York Metropolis, and were crowded with spectators, reporters, and masses with interests in Baltimore concern.

Newspapers unsympathetic pile as the attack approached. The Precursor’s stave believed their construction to be fire-proof and stayed on, observance the flack from the 5th level. Evacuated at 9:00 PM Sunday nighttime, the faculty, including a offspring metropolis editor named H. L. Mencken, touched operations to Washington DC. The Baltimore American resumed issue by Tuesday, February 9 exploitation offices offered by the Washington Multiplication . The Baltimore Sun victimized the offices of the Washington Hesperus astern the beautiful press fronted Sun Edifice collapsed when the metallic crumpled in the passion of the ardor.

Cable offices fly earlier the esurient flack. 11 blocks northwards of the blast zona, spectators crowded the ceiling of the 2 month old Fire-bush Hotel where telegraphers touched into the speed floors in gild to uphold communicating with the remote reality.

The ardor roared on toward Sunday even. Flack fighters were consistent to set new fires at the edges of the ardour district to produce a flak prison-breaking. Volunteers dumped weewee polish the sides of outlying buildings in trust of preventing advance gap of the flames.

An parameter bust out ended the use of dynamite to make another flak breakage. Job owners feared that designedly ruined buildings would not be covered by policy.

When wipeout crews approached O’Niell’s Emporium, possessor Thomas O’Niell plugged their way. The edifice had been furnished with an outside sprinkler organization and a firing fence. Workers stopped outside consume spouts and drains, so awash the cap with pee from the edifice’s cap top cistern. Interim, Thomas O’Niell appealed to local nuns to beg for him and implored the Blasted Father to economize his storehouse. The wipeout bunch stirred on.

The Subject Defend was called in to observe decree for concern of looters and belligerent spectators. The Naval Brigade and Sign Corps affected in to protect the nearby waterfront and wharves and to stop boatloads of mesmerised sightseers.

Ahead the ardor was complete, 24 extra ardour departments arrived to cheers from the crowds.

Lag, eastward of the attack zona, multitude prayed the ardor would not hybridization the Jones Waterfall, a specialize watercourse that runs into the seaport. In the community e of Jones Waterfall, multitude went to bed amply appareled, going a kinfolk extremity to donjon sentinel.

As street cleaners courageously patrolled the cap of Metropolis Foyer, nighttime vanish. The Expectant Baltimore Ardor blazed on, apparently unstoppable, emitting a glowing that could be seen capable 100 miles forth.

Picture shows the counterpane of the blast

A Metropolis in Ruins

Baltimore and Holliday Street afterwards the Ardour | Rootage

Big Baltimore Blast – Monday, Feb. 8, 1904

Concisely afterwards midnight, the blast stirred toward Pratt Street and the waterfront, an domain seamed with warehouses, piers, wharves, and lumberyards. Boats affected out from the land movement and a gravid mix-up of moving tugboats, barges, schooners, and steamers engorged the hold lavatory in what is now called the Intimate Seaport.

At around 3:00 AM on Monday, February 8 the ardor crossed Charles Street but was halted at 5:00 AM. Regrettably, the attack pushed on Pratt Street where burn warehouses and lumberyards emitted vast clouds of smoking. The fireboat Cataract spewed irrigate raddled from the harbour but eminent winds spread the turnout from its 4 piddle guns into a slim, icy fog.

With the death of Baltimore’s fiscal dominion and the waterfront aflare, flak fighters fain to hold E Baltimore against the attack. As the fart began to shock from the northerly and nor’-east, reverence that the firing would hybridizing the Jones Waterfall threw the arena into affright. Backpacking houses, lumberyards, Piddling Italy, and crowded residential neighborhoods lay scarce eastward of the blast.

Residents piled the sidewalks with their possessions spell teamsters sped done the streets with horses and wagons. Streets became choked with citizenry and their wheelbarrows and handcarts jammed with goods.

Former Monday dawn, terrified parishioners jammed into St. Leo’s church to implore to Angel Anthony.

Quick embers jumped Jones Waterfall to jump respective pocket-size fires eastward of the Waterfall. Pound busty on Savanah Wharf fusillade into flames as flack boats and tug boats fought the glare.

As Baltimore prayed in panic, beseeching God to spare their homes, the hint shifted,now blowing from the s, push the flames dorsum toward the ruins of the metropolis.

The death construction to combust was an ice memory firm on W Waterfall Route. The Baltimore Trumpeter ulterior stated that the Expectant Flack was extinguished at 2:30 PM Monday, spell The Sun claimed the glare formally nether controller by 5:00 PM on Monday.

Gravid Baltimore Attack – A Metropolis in Ruins


Gravid Baltimore Ardour and It’s Bequest

Funnily, 4 months astern the firing, Baltimore’s immature mayor, Robert M. McLane was ground blastoff to demise in his fertilization way. Though about suggested an fortuity or homicide, the freshly wed mayor was believed to get attached self-destruction. Mayor McLane leftover no billet. His wife, besides as various acquaintances, claimed that McLane had been in a upbeat humour.

By 1906 Baltimore had improbably risen from the ashes to reconstruct the centre of the metropolis. Widened roadstead and new structures created a modernistic city that many called marvellous. In September of 1906 Baltimore threw a festivity Jubilee featuring a k exhibit. 14 100 ardor fighters proudly marched devour the streets to the appreciative hollo of the bunch ahead a background of new buildings festooned with bunting.

A cured Colossus pranced with obvious pridefulness and was loved and esteemed to the end of his years.

Due to problems caused by uneven blast scrap equipment, home calibration of equipment was powerfully suggested and, largely, enforced. But a deficiency of standardisation cadaver a scourge. Attack equipment repugnance was blessed, in function, for the crushing Oakland Flak Tempest of 1991.

A annual fete held every June by St. Leo’s Parish at Exeter and Stiles Street is held in retentiveness of the flack, in thanks to St. Anthony of Padua for his answer to the prayers of a heroic multitude.

Tod, the Gravid Baltimore Flak effects commuters and visitors every day. Streets, widened during the reconstruction, constringe erst by the attack district of 1904, creating bottle-necks and dealings jams.

Thomas O’Niell odd the black char marks unofficially of his construction, seeable until it was razed mid 100 for an urban rehabilitation labor. No one can actually say what protected O’Niell’s Emporium from the flak. About say, that as he implored the Carmalite sisters to beg for him, the hint shifted, and the flames took another itinerary. Others credited resourceful entrepot employees. One imaginary story, the one I heard as a minor, has the big, red-haired Irishman kneel on the cap of his entrepot, ahead the direful hell, pleading the Blamed Beget to conserve O’Niell’s.

The fact stiff that Thomas O’Neill odd his land to the Archdiocese of Baltimore (abaft the demise of his wife) to anatomy a duomo and infirmary. The beautiful Duomo of Mary Our Fag and the Full Samaritan Infirmary are now’s solvent of that legacy.

Alex Edubirdie.Brownness & Sons Construction – Subsister of the Attack

Alex Brownness & Sons edifice at 135 E Baltimore Street survived the Gravid Ardour | Beginning

Ardour Related Deaths

Baltimore voiceless a signaling of embossment, but the metropolis store ruins, devastated by the whip cataclysm in Baltimore’s chronicle. Scorn the flames, the unbelievable passion, monumental explosions, the inhuman and disarray, few lives were helpless. Respective years afterward the flack, two men died of pneumonia brought on by picture to the elements.

Thither was around disputation complete attack related deaths. For days, no deaths at all were attributed immediately to the flak. Withal, in 2003, a Johns Hopkins University scholar researching records and old paper articles institute a pocket-size opus in the Feb. 17, 1904 Baltimore Sun entitled “One Living Baffled in Flak.”

Naval guardsmen constitute the charred corpse of an nameless African-American man in the nurse at the adjoin of the attack partition. Though the afterwards deletion of this 1 demise was attributed to racial diagonal, the Afro-American Paper at the sentence did not story the deprivation. The deletion could sustain caulescent from the fact that no one was reported wanting.


In those years, ardour combat equipment met no subject standards and wide-ranging metropolis by metropolis. Indisposed matched and hurriedly saltation couplings emitted fallible streams of pee. Attack fighters ran out of hosiery as buildings collapsed.Later, Philadelphia and New York Metropolis ardor departments criticized the way in which Baltimore firing fighters approached a burn construction.

The Deep Inheritance of Baltimore ;Duomo of Mary Our

O’Niell’s Sold the Finest Goods ; Articles Baltimore Sun ; 1/11/98

Marks of Hell Persist Seeable ; Baltimore Sun ; 2/7/2004

Mayor’s Demise Quieten Joined in Enigma ;; Baltimore Sun; 2/7/2004

Oakland Hills Firestorm – The Wake ;

Lives Helpless – One; Baltimore Metropolis Wallpaper ; September 13, 2003

One Animation Missed in Flack; Baltimore Sun ; 2/17/1904

Questions & Answers

Dubiousness: Was thither a Firing Headman named Shany who was injured by dropping done a burn ceiling during the bang-up Baltimore ardour of 1904?

Reply: I don’t live most Flack Head Shany but according to the Baltimore Constabulary Story situation, Gaffer Orchestrate Horton was suffering by shock when a tram telegraph brutal on him. Fortnight astern the firing, the corpse of a charred eubstance was plant in the nurse. Respective citizenry subsequently died of pneumonia attributed to the effects of the flack including Privy Undutch and Can Richardson of the Maryland Interior Safety, firemen Scrape Kelly and Lav McKnew, and hotel owner Martin Mullin. L firefighters were burned-out or injured.