Fine steamer burned.
Four sailors lose their lives at Collingwood.
Destruction of the Northern Navigation Company's steamer City of Collingwood and the Grand Trunk freight sheds by fire.
Collingwood, June 19.—Four lives were lost this morning by the burning of the Northern Navigation Company's fine steamer City of Collingwood and the Grand Trunk freight sheds here. The men who were burned to death are:
James Meade, fireman, Prescott.
Lyman Peters, deck hand, Owen Sound.
A. McLennan, deck hand, East Tawas, Mich.
An unknown fireman.
The flames were master of the situation in ten minutes after they were discovered by the watchman, and in less than half an hour were in control of the extensive freight sheds of the Grand Trunk. The heat was so intense that the firemen were unable to do anything towards saving the steamer or the freight sheds, and turned their attention towards saving the surrounding property. The steamer Britannic, which arrived the evening before in a disabled condition, and which was lying along the City of Collingwood, was moved to a place of safety, but not a minute too soon, and, as it was, she was slightly scorched.
Desparate attempts were made to save the four unfortunate men who lost their lives, but all without success. They were shut in by a sheet of flame, and it was impossible to reach them. Captain Wright and two of the crew whom he went to rescue were obliged to jump from the hurriance deck to the dock, while two members of the cabin crew were forced to leap into the water and swim across the harbor to the town wharf.
The City of Collingwood was the flagship of the Georgian Bay division of the Northern Navigation Company's fleet. She was a wooden vessel and was built in Owen Sound in 1893 by Captain John Simpson, the veteran shipbuilder. Her length was 215 feet, beam 34 feet and 12 feet 6 inches depth of hold. Since the beginning of the season she has been making regular trips out of this port of Sault Ste. Marie, and only arrived from her regular trip yesterday morning, to be sent out a few hours later to the relief of her sister steamer, Britannic, which she brought lashed to her side about 10.30 o'clock last night. She was captained by Captaion A. M. Wright, the other officers being: W. McLean, first mate; J. D. Montgomery, second mate; J. Taylor, chief engineer; M. Kirk, assistant engineer; B. Batten, purser; E. W. Roblin, assistant purser, and J., Hunter, steward. Her loss is a serious matter to her owners, as next week she was about to enter upon the excursion business. Her place, however, will be taken by another steamer of the line, and no interruption will take place in the company's running schedule.
The steamer was valued at $125,000 and is fully insured in the British Lloyd's. The loss on the Grand Trunk wharf and shed will be about $10,000, on which the company carried their own insurance.
When the Northern Navigation Co. was reorganized a couple of years ago Mr. H. C. Hammond of Toronto was elected President. Among the Board of Directors are several other Toronto citizens. The capital authorized is $1,000,000, and the subscribed and paid-up is $840,000.
During the lifetime of the company the following steamers have been destroyed by fire:—The Northern Belle and Atlantic, while making for Parry Sound harbor, and the Parry Sound and Baltic in Collingwood harbor, in about the same place that the City of Collingwood was consumed by fire this morning.
District Passenger Agent J. D. Macdonald of Toronto and a number of other officials were on the first train.