WOODEN FREIGHTER BURNS, CREW SAFE
Fire Started in Forward Hold, Destroys City of Rome on Lake Erie.
SHIP IS DRIVEN ASHORE WHEN FLAMES ROUT CREW
Steamer Owned in Cleveland is Smoldering Wreck on Beach at Ripley, N. Y.
Special to the Free Press
Erie, Pa., May 7. - Burned to the water's edge early this morning, the smoking, smoldering hulk of the wooden bulk freighter, City of Rome, lies on the beach near Ripley, N. Y., where the vessel was driven after her officers and crew had fought vainly for more than two hours in the attempt to save the ship.
The officers and crew, making 16 persons, came ashore in yawl boats and left this morning for Cleveland, home port of the steamer, which was owned by Capt. John Mitchell.
Fire Starts Between Decks.
John McNamara, of Cleveland, first mate, discovered the fire between decks in the forward hold shortly after midnight Thursday morning, and immediately aroused Captain William Dunn, master of the ship, and his crew. The fire had gained considerable headway and after a two-hour battle in which McNamara was painfully burned, it was seen that the flames could not be checked.
Captain Dunn ordered the steamer put on the beach and she was driven on near Ripley. Although all of the crew escaped most of them lost the belongings that they had on the vessel.
After unloading a cargo of oats brought from Chicago, on her first trip, the City of Rome left Buffalo, without cargo, about 6 o'clock Wednesday evening, bound for Toledo to load coal for Milwaukee. The cause of the fire is not known.
Former Gilchrist Ship.
The City of Rome was built in Cleveland in 1881. She was taken over a year ago from the receivers of the Gilchrist Transportation company, by Captain John Mitchell, who gave her a rebuild in Chicago last winter, increasing her cargo capacity.
The steamer measures 1,908 gross tons, is 268.2 feet long, 40.2 feet beam, and 20.3 feet deep. Thomas J. Cunningham, of Milwaukee, was chief engineer.