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Mobsters in America - The Excellent New York City Fire of 1835

It was the worst fire in New York City's history. But that did not quit the poor Irish in the slums in the 5 Points location, from going on a dazzling show of looting, which led to among the greatest free of charge champagne parties ever witnessed.

The city was in the throes of one of several coldest winters on record. On the days preceding "The Good Fire," the temperature had dropped as low as seventeen degrees below zero. By the evening of December 16, 1835, there was two feet of frozen snow on the ground, as well as the temperature was specifically zero frigid degrees. It was so cold, each the Hudson River and East Rivers have been completely frozen.

About 9 pm, a watchman (the precursor to a brand new York City policeman) named Warren Hayes was crossing the corner of Merchant (now Beaver Street) and Pearl Street, and he believed he smelled smoke. He looked up in the last floor of a five-story constructing at 25 Merchant Street, rented by Comstock and Andrews, a popular dry goods store, and spotted smoke coming out of a window. Unbeknownst to Hayes, a gas pipe had ruptured, and had ignited some coals that had been left on a stove. Hayes promptly ran by means of the streets yelling "Fire!!" In minutes, the good fire bell that stood above City Hall started peeling loudly, summoning what was left in the New York City Fire Division. The bell at the Tombs Prison, about a mile north, also began ringing, summoning the volunteer firemen in that area.

In 1832, New York City was stricken together with the worst case of cholera within the city's history. Four thousand individuals died and much more than half with the city's quarter million population fled the city in worry. This decimated the New York City Fire Department, and by 1835, the Fire Division had much less than half of its earlier members. The volunteer fire division that responded on December 16, 1835, had spent the previous evening fighting a fire at Burlington Street around the East River, and had been now close to exhaustion. By the time the regional fire division arrived 30 minutes later, as a consequence of forty mile an hour winds, the fire had currently spread to fifty structures. Buildings had been going up in flames on Water Street, Exchange Location, Beaver, Front and South Streets. By midnight, the fire had also consumed Broad and Wall Street, which was the heart from the organization and economic center of New York City, if not the whole country. Also engulfed by the conflagration was the majority of the city's newspaper plants, retail and wholesale shops and warehou ...

News Release: Mobsters in America - The Excellent New York City Fire of 1835
Submitted on: December 28, 2016 10:25:09 AM
Submitted by: Carolyn G. Moskowitz
On behalf of: