A gala crowd of some five hundred people attired in costumes ranging from the prehistoric to Victorian and modern ties, were on hand to lend colour to the spectacular fire in the Iroquois Club, early Saturday morning about 3.30 o'clock.
Knots of eager partisans surrounded the individual fireman in the early stages of the battle, until the protection of Cambridge blue coats insured the safety of the coveted fire hats. A dash for the fire trucks had apparently been foreseen for every hat was carefully secured to its respective hook.
To the great displeasure of the crowd, or so it was manifested, the fire was under control in unusually short time, being confined early to the main room, where the furniture was completely destroyed, and the walls badly blistered. A piano and a handsomely mounted boar's head, which was subsequently thrown out the window, its mouth spitting flames, were other miscellaneous items that were destroyed. Damages were estimated variously, the amounts ranging around an approximate figure of $5,000. It was rumored late last night that the Club was uninsured against fire, so that the ultimate expense will fall upon the members.
Despite the presence of eight fire engines, detachments of police, and the groups of fireman who swarmed over the ladders with hose in hand, the crowd pressed close upon the building in their enthusiasm, with the result that many overzealous individuals were completely routed when a torrent of water, unleashed from the hose, escaped from a broken window. In another instance, the firemen, taunted with concerted chants of "Let it burn!" and "Damn the firemen", turned the hose and swept the crowd, somewhat dampening the ardor of the surging ranks.
The remaining rooms of the Club escaped with little damage as heavy fire walls, and double floors stood in the way of the flames. Slight damage was due to the clouds of smoke and steam that poured out of the upper windows, and discolored the walls. Two members temporarily trapped on the second floor, gesticulated appealingly to the crowd below with cries of "Help!" but it was correctly surmised by the spectators that the victims were beyond all possible assistance. Fortunately no casualties occurred. That the conflagration was conceived in some form of sin or sorrow, was the report of several witnesses.
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