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Fires

Company Statistics from the Fire Department Annual Report

The Fire Department's Annual Report published data on fires, fire fighting, and fire prevention in New York City.  It included lists of equipment and officers, information about place, time, cause, and estimated cost of fires, new or revised orders, the roll of honor for the year, and some maps.  Until 1916 it also published fire statistics by company, and listed the most notable fires of the year.  Notable fires that might have involved Engine 47 are listed below with selected newspaper stories that specifically mentioned Engine 47.

Year

Engine Company No. 47:

Men & Officers

Engine Company No. 47

Alarms responded to

Engine Company No.  47

Fires performed duty at

Total Fires in Manhattan (and part of the Bronx) Notable fires or News Stories
 1884  12  39  7 2,406   
 1885  12  56  7 2,479   
 1886  12  57  9 2,415  
 1887  12  49  7 2,929  
 1888  12  46 14 3,217  Notable fires from the Annual Report: Convent of the Sacred Heart Fire, August 1888
 1889  12 35 13 2,836  
 1890  12 67 16 3,479  Notable fires from the Annual Report: Lion Brewery Stables, August 17, 1890
 1891  12  83  21 3,938  Engine Company 47 moves to new quarters on 113th Street, April 1, 1891
 1892  12  86  28 4,011   
1893 12 89 23 4,151 

Sadly, the first news story after Engine No. 47 moved to Morningside Heights recorded the death of Captain Lawrence Murphy who died of a heart attack returning from a fire.

Lawrence Murphy, the Captain of Engine Company 47 died suddenly of heart attack on October 31, 1893. He lived at 304 W 125th Street and left a wife and two children.  

The Times reported:

"Captain Murphy was recorded on the Roll of Merit at Fire Headquarters for having, on May 6, 1885, at great personal risk, aided, at 228 West One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Street, in the rescue of Edward Hellenkamp, his wife, son, and daughter. The record was a double one, as at first Capt. Murphy was recorded with others and then specifically mentioned for conspicuous bravery at the request of Mr. Hellenkamp."

"Brave Fireman's Sudden Death." New York Times November 1, 1893 p. 7. 

[Figure 1]

1894 12  61  18 3,983   
1895 12 96 26  3,963

News: Engine Co. 47 was featured in the three page spread, "West Side is Itself a Great City."  New York Times, March 10, 1895 p. 20-23.

"...The West End, like all other parts of the city, is under the jurisdiction of Chief Hugh Bonner of the Fire Department and Deputy Chief Purroy.  They do not "run" to every fire.  But a second or third alarm finds one or the other responding to it.  The larger part of the West End is within the district of Acting Chief John J. Cooney, who is in command of the Twelfth Battalion.  Other chiefs of battalions who go to fires in the West End are Chief William Duane of the Tenth Battalion and  Chief Peter Short of the Eleventh Battalion.  The night man is Battalion Chief Benjamin A Gicquel.

There are three engines and one hook and ladder company in the territory.  Engine Company No. 47 is situated on One Hundred and Thirteenth Street, near Amsterdam Avenue.  The captain is Lewis L. Siegermann, who joined the force Feb. 8, 1871, was made Assistant Foreman in 1874, and was given charge of a company March 1, 1887.  Lieut. Henry Schuck was appointed to the force Sept. 18, 1865, and Nov. 22, 1865 was promoted to Assistant Foreman.  He is the oldest fireman in the service of the city.  Lieut. William Hennessey became a private Jan. 18, 1882, and was promoted May 20, 1884.  The company includes Engineers William Rush and Henry Hood, and Fireman James Robinson, Thomas McGrath, Henry McBride, John Murray, William Corcoran, and William Taylor." (p.23)  [Figure 2]

1896 12 106 23 3,890   
1897 12  103  20 4,046   
1898 12  123  22 6,442  
1899  12  143  39 8,053  Notable fires from the Annual Report: March 3: 249 W 124th Street; April 22nd: 228 W. 123rd Street
1900 12  150  36 8,405  News: "Fire Panic at a Concert."  New York Times March 5 1900, p.1. [Figure 3].
1901 12  170  27 8,424  Notable fires from the Annual Report: July 2nd, 1901: 330 W 95th Street
1902  12  185  40 8,700 

Role of Merit, "March 11, by Firemen first grade William King and Arthur Carroll, of Engine Company 47 -- Upon the arrival of Engine Company 47 at the fire in the five-story brick tenement house, No. 3135 Broadway, between One Hundred and Twenty-fourth and one Hundred and Twenty-fifth streets, at 2:30 p.m. March 11, the members of the company stretched in a line of hose and were about descending to the cellar when the Foreman was notified by a citizen that the janitress was in the cellar and unable to get out.  He immediately hurried in with his line and company, and began a vigorous search for the woman.  The fire had meanwhile reached the kitchen, where Fireman Carroll and King descried the prostate form of a man.  Crawling on their stomachs they reached him and dragged him into the corridor, and carried him to the sidewalk, whence he was removed in an ambulance to J. Hood Wright Hospital.  It was subsequently ascertained that his name was Martin Reilly, his age 48, and that he was endeavoring to extinguish the flames in the apartment of his niece, the janitress (who escaped unharmed), when he was rendered insensible.  

This rescue was affected at great prersonal risk, as the room in which Reilly lay unconscious was partly afire and heavily charged with heat and smoke." Annual Report (1902) p. 100-101.  Also notable fire:August 28th 1902: 315 W. 121st Street

1903  18  200  35 10,046 "Mother Absent; Baby Burned." New York Times (January 24, 1903):. 16  [Figure 4]
1904  17  230  39 11,146  
1905  18  276  40 11,524 Notable fires from the Annual Report: May 23rd: 201 W 127th Street, September 3rd: 310 W 118th Street
1906  18  305  54 12,181  
1907  17  316  60  12,547

"Their Comrades' Fate Didn't Deter Firemen."  New York Times January 23, 1907 [Figure 5]
"Engine Horses Slide to Fire." New York Tribune, October 28, 1907. 

1908  16  257  44  13,039

Notable fires from the Annual Report: December 12th: 550 W 126th St (station 847) 

News: "Fireman's Son Made Work for Him: Eight Year Old Lad Says He Set Fires to See Engine Horses Gallop." New York Tribune Sept 10th, 1908. [Figure 6]

1909  16  221 42  12,437  
1910  16 265 54  14,405  
1911  15  341  73  14,574  
1912  14  330  53 15,633  News: "Thrilling Rescues at Four Fires." New York Tribune, December 23, 1912. [Figure 7]
1913  17  281  44 12,958   
1914       16,245  Notable fires from the  Annual Report: October 10: University Hall burns  (station 810).  News: "University Hall a Gaping Shell of Black Ruins" Columbia Spectator, October 12, 1914.  [Figure 8]
1915  15  238  45  13.416  
1916  17  264  40 13,677  Notable fires from the Annual Report: January 12th: 265 W 129th St (Station 810); January 18th: 305 W 116th St (Station 812); January 27th: 1960 Amsterdam; Subway 108th & Central Park West

Selected News stories