The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
St. Catharines Journal (St. Catharines, ON), July 14, 1853

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Steamer Burnt - On Saturday evening as the steamer Queen Of The West was lying at the City Wharf, about ten minutes after her arrival from Toronto, a dense quantity of smoke was observed, by persons on the wharf, issuing from her side. From the fact that the boat had so recently arrived and that consequently there was a probability of some of the crew being on board, it did not attract particular attention. It is stated that the smoke continued to ensure for several minutes before the fire alarm was given. One of the firemen on board at the time was the first of the crew to discover the danger, which threatened the boat, and he rushed downwards to the freehold with a bucket of water, but owning to the dense smoke which filled the apartment in which the fire originated, he was unable to accomplish his purpose, and was obliged to retreat. The fire continued to make such rapid headway that all efforts to extinguish it were considered hopeless, and the burning vessel, having drifted from McPherson & Crane's wharf to Browne's wharf, set fire to a large quantity of wood. At this moment the Rochester was seen steaming up to the wharf. Capt. Masson, who had seen the fire, had put on steam, prepared grapnel irons, boat-line, &c., and arrived at the critical moment when the whole range of warehouses, filled with valuable merchandize, were in imminent danger of being destroyed. A fastening was made to the rudder, and the burning vessel towed out into the bay, and finally carried by the May Flower to the opposite shore, where she burnt to the water's edge in four feet of water. To the exertions of Capt. Masson, who did not wait to land his passengers, but immediately proceeded to the Queen whose dangerous proximity to the warehouses must otherwise have proved most destructive, too much praise cannot be given. He is entitled to some substantial mark of approbation, and we hope he will be rewarded, as also the services of the mate, Mr. Harbottle, who jumped into the water, and at the risk of his life, made several attempts to fasten a rope to the Queen, which he finally succeeded in doing, and otherwise exerted himself in a praiseworthy manner. Very little of the wreck of the Queen will be saved - perhaps the boilers may be made useful, but the engines and other machinery will be worth very little. The fire companies were early on the wharf, and through their exertions, the fire was soon extinguished which threatened to destroy the merchandize on the wharf and the warehouses and their contents. The boat originally cost, we understand, £13,500. The insurance effected is £7,000 - namely, Ontario £3,000; St. Lawrence £2,000; Provincial Mutual £2,000. There are a number of shareholders, but Capt Harrison owned £2,000. His loss will be very severe, and he was not able to save any of his personal property. As Capt. Harrison is very much esteemed in the vicinity, there is a proper sympathy for him in his misfortune. - Hamilton Journal

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July 14, 1853
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Peter Warwick
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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St. Catharines Journal (St. Catharines, ON), July 14, 1853