19th century 1865 - 1876 1865 1868 1876 1865 1872 1865 1867 1872 Prague's Reference Plan of the 1840s, MMP 1865. Fire in Basket-Maker Barbora Krůgová's Basement Stockroom On 11 March 1865 a fire started in the basement of the house number 408/1 at the Egg Market. There were many very flammable wicker products there so it seized the whole room in no time and the flames were flaring all the way up to the second floor. When entering the basement, two firemen fainted having inhaled poisonous gases, but they were immediately taken to safety. Four hours later, 6 fire engines and about 40 men of the fire brigade managed to put the fire out completely. The fire engines were of great use. The owner of the shop was insured to the sum of 2,000 gold coins by the Municipal Insurance Company of Prague. 1865. Lodní Mills Fire in the New Town On 15 August 1865, at around 9:30 pm, the alarm bell announced a fire in the New Town. Hundreds and hundreds of people flooded the streets within a moment and rushed towards Poříčí where the blaze could be seen. From far away, it was possible to see thick clouds of smoke over the roofs of the neighbouring houses. The houses were brightly lit by the flames. The mills (street number 1297/II.) owned by Mr. and Mrs. Trinkmoc were on fire. It was impossible to find out how the fire had flared up. It spread at great speed in all directions and before fire engines arrived two mills adjacent from the left and right to the building had caught fire. Saving the mills was out of the question and all efforts focused on the buildings closest to the fire. It was not an easy task since the streets on the banks are very narrow, roofs were covered with shingles and burning grain was flying in all directions like flaming tails. It was thought for a long time that the fire could not be contained within the mills alone to the mills alone since the mills were all ablaze at half past 10. Around 11 o'clock, the chimneys and walls progressively started collapsing, and in so doing put the fire out. The damage caused by the fire was immense. The firemen supported by the military proved brave and courageous. Large quantities of flour and grain were saved thanks to their joint efforts. Mr. Lammer was in charge of the fire-fighting operation. The fire lasted till morning. By 1 o'clock after midnight, the flames had subsided to such an extent that some fire engines were no longer necessary and at 3 o'clock in the morning all the firefighting ended. Most of those who had suffered damage were insured. 1865. Railway Station Fire On 16 February 1865, at 4 am, a guard at the state railway station noticed that a fire had started at the assembly department. It spread to the whole roof of the workshop. The municipal firemen under the command of Mr. Lammer arrived upon notification, but were able to direct their efforts to the neighbouring buildings only. The damage incurred amounted to between 150,000 and 200,000 gold coins since many locomotives, cranes, hydraulic presses and other equipment were destroyed. 1867. Fire of Bubeníček's Enclosure below St. Wenceslas Prison On 30 October 1867, in the afternoon, Prague was ravaged by a fire that has been one of the most dangerous ones ever. Bubeníček's enclosure below St. Wenceslas Prison was burning. It was the safest enclosure in Prague and thousands of fathoms of all kinds of timber were stored there. The fire was fed by a very strong wind blowing from the south directly towards the town. It is believed that it was the case of arson and the fire flared up in several places from a big pile of wood at 1 o'clock. Almost immediately, mighty flames shot up high and before the inhabitants recovered from the first shock, a flaming stream flowed in all directions, accompanied by terrible crackling, through the enclosure. The wind was billowing up one fire wave after another and carrying them onto, so far intact piles of wood, and shortly nothing but a single vast sea of flames could be seen. In a short while, tall stacks of wood were burning like enormous candles and the wind kept spreading heat in all directions, towards the prison, Mr. Bubeníček's house, etc. Right after the first call, a fire engine from the prison arrived followed by those belonging to the New Town. The immense heat made the windows of the prison and surrounding houses explode and the wind-carried sparks were setting fire to straw mattresses in the prison yard and windows of houses that stood closest. Now, 3 more municipal fire engines reached the site. Later a Baron Ringhoffer's fire engine arrived from Smíchov, another from Karlín and also military fire engines got there, among them one from Malá Strana that could be used only in cases of really big fires. There was not enough water at first, only later was the access to the Vltava river made smoother and water could be pumped onto the fire. Unfortunately, many of the fire engines became useless after a short time. The firemen showed great experience in the flames and smoke. Their deeds bore testimony to great courage and dexterity. The fire was contained after three hours of superhuman efforts. Burning wood was left to burn but what could be still saved was removed so that the fire raged on, alone, in the middle of the enclosure. There was only narrow space between the mighty flames and remaining enormous supplies of timber so water was incessantly poured onto the wood to prevent the fire from spreading. Water was poured onto the surrounding roofs, too, and prisoners of St. Wenceslas Prison did a good job at it. The huge rogue fire kept flaring till late at night and shedding its red light onto almost entire Prague. Dobový popis –úryvek z publikace František Vejdělek: Památník hasičského sboru královského hlavního města Prahy 1853-1903. Praha 1903. 1868. Brosch Oil Factory Fire Just affter 4 a.m. on 20 July 1868 the janitor at Karl Ed. Brosch's oil factory in Sanytrová Street spotted smoke rising from the first floor. He raised the fire alarm immediately, but since there were flammable materials all around the place, the fire spread in no time and the firemen, having arrived, could not enter the building. It was impossible to save the factory, but at 8 o'clock the fire was contained enough that no more danger was imminent. 1872. Porges von Portheim Textile Factory Fire On 29 February in the morning, a terrible fire destroyed the main part of the Porges von Portheim textile factory in Smíchov. The fire, of unknown cause, started at 4:30 a.m. in the room where mangles were kept. It spread immediately into the neighbouring lock-smithery, printing room, dye room and weaving mill. The flames were blazing high. Firemen were coming from all directions and some factories had sent their employees to help. The joint efforts focused on saving what could be saved. The main attention was aimed at the mechanized weaving mill where 580 expensive looms were located. Even though the fire reached the roof, it was later put out. It was also necessary to work very hard in order to save the new warehouse and the side wing where finished goods were stored. There was deafening noise when the roofs collapsed, walls cracked and ceilings fell through, burying machinery and other equipment. Valuable specimens of cast-iron cylinders suffered great damage, especially in the upper part of the engraving workshop. Right after the fire started, steam boilers were removed and gasholders turned off to prevent explosions. The danger passed by midday. The damage claimed by the fire amounted to 600,000 gold coins. 1872. Slávia Bank Building Collapse Architect and member of the Municipal Council Alois Turek was building a three-storey building for the insurance company Slávia at the place of former St. Ludvík Monastery (no. 978/II.). On Friday 4 March, around 10 o'clock in the morning, news spread around Prague that the building had collapsed and all the workers were buried under the rubble. About 50 men had been working at the site. At half past 9 in the morning, the middle wall of the front started to be unstable and suddenly collapsed with a dreadful clamour, burying numerous workers under the rubble. Most men were rescued and their wounds were not of a serious nature. The municipal fire brigade was notified at once. Even before they arrived and despite the danger of further developments, some workers and policemen had dared to enter the collapsed building in order to help those under the rubble. Shortly after, the firemen arrived under the command of Mr. Lammer. Since the master builder assured everybody that no further danger was imminent, firemen, policemen and workers were sent into the ruins to dig out the men.. As soon as the works began, though, the remaining walls started moving again and falling sand, mortar and stones warned everyone it was time to run. Before they could do that, the main wall collapsed inwards and buried 5 firemen, 2 policemen and 8 labourers. Deputy Mayor Huleš, commander Lammer, a police inspector and the builders present, escaped by lucky chance, as did several policement and instructor Tůma with two firemen. The awful shock that everyone on or near the site experienced caused a great commotion and ensuing panic. Two wounded policemen, three firemen and two labourers crawled out of the rubble shortly after the second disaster. At the height of the crisis, a contingent of infantry from the Salvator regiment and other military personnel were called in. The rescue operation had to be carried out very cautiously, since the greater number of the unfortunates under the rubble were buried in the basement, which was covered by planks. The moaning and wailing of the injured was coming from all sides. Following the joint efforts of the firemen, soldiers and policemen, 7 dead and 15 injured men were dragged out of the ruins. The rescue operation lasted until 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Later, two more bodies were found and two labourers rescued. 7 people (including fireman Budějický) lost their lives, 8 people were injured seriously (fireman Rombold) and 12 slightly during the catastrophe. 1876. Alosi Fišer Oil Factory Fire in Karlín On Tuesday, 22 August 1876, after 4 p.m., Karlín witnessed a large and dangerous fire that scared local inhabitants who feared that it was going to spread to the nearby Belgian gasworks. Fortunately, it did not spread beyond the oil factory, but it soon grew to such proportions, thanks to large quantities of flammable materials, that to save the establishment was out of the question. All efforts of the firemen, who had arrived at the site from various parts of Prague and her the surroundings, thus focused on rescuing the residential building. By around 8 in the evening, all danger had passed. The damage caused by the fire amounted to 500,000 gold coins.