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SFFD - Those Who Died in the Line of Duty:
 
Black Ribbon John Chester Black Ribbon

John Chester - July 5, 1880 (#13)
Engine Co. No. 2 - 460 Bush Street

BUILDING COLLAPSE - TURK AND LARKIN STREETS

DANGERS OF A FIREMAN'S LIFE— SIX MEN BURNED IN THE RUINS OF A BURNING BUILDING

San Francisco, - July 4th.

About 11:40 last night a fire occurred in a large stable at the corner of Turk and Larkin streets. Men were ordered up on the roof. The outer wall fell in, burying Charles Crockett, J. J. Wilkinson, James Beane, Mike Byron, officer John Chester and George Wilson.  They were rescued by their brave companions. All will live, though Chester is badly burned, having been wedged between two burning bales of hay:  All the firemen injured at the fire last night are doing well except Chester, who is in a very critical condition, being badly burned, and having inhaled hot air, causing ; congestion of the lungs. 

Source: Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 11, Number 119, 7 July 1880 — CALIFORNIA. [ARTICLE]

BOMBS AND BLAZES.

ACCOUNTS OF YESTERDAY’S FIRES STARTED FROM PATRIOTIC EXPLOSIVES.

1880 July 6 In Part

DISASTROUS FIRE --- ACCIDENT TO FIREMEN

At 11:35 last night an alarm of fire was turned in by a citizen from box 91, on the corner of Hyde and Larkin street. A large livery stable, known as the “Thad. Stevens' stables," on the northeast corner of Turk and Larkin streets, the property of Henry Norton, was discovered to be on fire. Some thirty horses were confined withfo (sic), of which twelve were extricated and the remainder were necessarily sacrificed, as the flames from the light timbers and the burning hay gained too fast on the workers. In the building wore stored nearly 100 tons of hay, all of which was destroyed, besides 30 baggies and carriages, chiefly the property of private individuals, none of which could be saved.

ACCIDENT TO FIREMEN

About 12 o'clock, as Hose Company No. 5 were playing on the fire from the interior of the building, the outer wall on Turk street fell out and the roof seil, engulfing six or seven men— It is not known accurately which number — in the fiery furnace. Immediately the full force of the Fire Department on the ground started in to work will a will for their extrication. Great beams were applied to

PRY UP THE BURNING TIMBERS

Which were lying on the prostrate men. In a few minutes J. J. Wllkinson, of Hose Company No. 5, was dragged out, almost stifled with smoke, but not otherwise injured. Charles Crockett, of the same company, was next extricated, and then James Bean, of Hose Company No. 6. Then came a period of hard and despairing work, which ended in the dragging out of George Wilton and Mike Bryan, of Companies 5 and 6, the latter with his leg broken. One mam now remained. Special Officer J. C. Chester, assistant foremen of Five Hose, after a full quarter of an hour's unflagging work was taken out bruised and groaning, and carried to a neighboring drug store, where his injuries were attended to. Beyond a trifling scalp wound and some bruises he. did not appear to be seriously hurt on a first examination. It appears that the fire had not reached any of the men, but a very few moments more must have resulted in their being stifled from the smoke. It is not known with absolute certainty whether anybody was left in the building, but from the best information obtainable it is thought not. Shortly after the extrication of officer Chester what remained of the walls was pulled down level with the ground. The loss is approximated at $15,000 or $20,000.

Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 32, Number 11040, 6 July 1880 — BOMBS AND BLAZES. [ARTICLE]

THE INJURED FREMEN

1880 July 7In part 

The firemen Injured by the falling in of the roof were progressing favorably yesterday. special officer Chester. Assistant Foreman of Hose Company 5, and Mike Byron, of the same company, were removed to St. Marys Hospital. Byron having a broken leg, and Chester being severely burned all over his body. Wilson, Wilkinson. Crocker. Beane and Dietz were not seriously injured, and will probably report for duty in a week or two. Chief Scannell was caught by a falling timber and had one of his knees severely bruised, narrowly escaping serious injury.

Source: Daily Alta California, Volume 32, Number 11041, 7 July 1880 — POLICE NEWS. [ARTICLE]

DANGERS OF A FIREMAN'S LIFE

Six Men Burled In the Ruins of a Burning Building.

San Francisco, - July 6th In part

— About 11:40 last night a fire occurred in a large stable at the corner of Turk and Larkin streets. Men were ordered up on the roof. The outer wall fell in, burying Charles Crockett, J. J: Wilkinson, James Beane, Mike Byron, officer John Chester and George Wilson. They were rescued by their brave companions. All will live, though Chester is badly burned, having been wedged between two burning bales of hay.

Source: Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 11, Number 119, 7 July 1880 — CALIFORNIA. [ARTICLE]

Extracted from original sources with grammar and spelling as published.

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