Henry Siebrecht got his hads & eyebrows burned off during fire
STORMY DAY New Rochelle Methodists Panic Stricken by an Explosion. CUSHIONS TO BEAT OUT FLAMES, Burning Fragments Fell on the People as They Rushed to the Doors. MR. SIEBRECHT TRAMPLED ON. Surf The Men Wno Tried to Snvc tlic Church Hud Hnrrt Work Snv- Ingr Their Own HOUICM. HIM -Raven Man fo all bee o t man' fourt It on rar Af th lurch knees leaving they had i whethe purloin hi known wale water minutes here's n wave 81 com si anc other "His ejaculated devoting young courage, shook man. seizing half to ihelp. and The ciulet of the service In the old First Methodist Church, of New Ro- chellt, the centenarian church which has stood almost sinco the Revolution, was suddenly broken last night by an explosion in the big chandelier overhead. Gas from a leaking pipe had apparently collected there and mingled with tho air until It assumed a dangerous form. There was a sudden crash and hurst of heat as the flames came rush- Ing out from walls and ceilings and then a sudden panic. Lueklly the congregation wns a small one of summemlght dimensions. There were perhaps 100 persons In the body of the church. Rev. W. H. Wardell, the pastor, was In the pulpit. Ho tried to still the commotion, but the awful fear that fire inspires was in tho congregation, and with cries of fright, mingled with cries of pain, they broke for the doors. Several women fainted and were dragged out by their companions friends with cooler heads. Col. Henry Heeneberger was one of the first to regain his senses. "Don't run away like this!" he cried, "Let's flgbt the flames like men!" "That's .right," said I. H. Lent. "It has been our -home for years; it has stood here for a century. All hands to the rescue;!" •ThSy seized cushions and tried.-to beat back the flaroea', which were rapidly spreading,amid the dry woodwork of tne aged structure. They might as well have tried to beat out a flre of oil <h feather dusters. Huge sparks and bits of burning wood fell on them as they worked, and H. A. Slebrecht, a rich New York florist, who had been knocked down anfl trampled under foot, wns severely burned. But the workers were few and the flre was fierce. When an engine company arrived from New Rochelle It was unable to give any assistance, as there was no supply of water tg draw from, the church being located outside the village limits and beyond the water supply. Several houses In the neighborhood were endangered by the flames. Volun- ,eorH turned to and fought to save them with blankets kept wet with buckets of water from the well. Those nearest to tho church belonged o Col. Heeneberger, I. H. Lent and H. A. Dlsbrow. It was lucky for them that he wind was light. Tho cottages were •(aved and the fire In tho church finally burned out for lack of fuel. Nothing was saved but a sma.ll pipe organ. The church la a large frame building, ituated on North street, opposite tho monument to Tom Paine, it was the 'Idest church in Westchester County and -eccntly celebrated its centennial anniversary. Its membership included many )f the staid old residents of New Ro- hello, who feel as If they had lost a lome. Henry Siebrecht, whoso hands were >adly burned and whose eyebrows were >urncd off, is a member of the firm of Slebrecht & Wadley, florists, at No. 09 Fifth avenue, this city. ' Many gravestones In the little ceme- ery adjoining the church were knocked own and broken by those who fought he flre.