No one else in the building was hurt, though great exitement prevailed, and the fire was soon extinguished. Heusler's goods were insured, and a collection of upward of $300 was made from the company. Most of the unfortunate persons present, however, had to pass two or three weeks in the hospital, some going to Bellevue, others to the New York Hospital. Heusler had but recently stocked up his store, and did not resume business after this unfortunate event.
Long before this the International Working People's Association had suffered several secessions. Certain of the members became suspicious of their comrades, and preferred to withdraw from association with them. The seceders are one and all exceedingly reticent on the subject, and it was difficult to obtain information from them. This much, however, is certain: It was frequently asserted among the habitués of saloons where the advanced Socialists are in the habit of congregating that accidents to kerosene lamps were sometimes arranged with great skill; that the comrades were shrewd and successful in their onslaughts on capitalistic society. It was even asserted that the injuries received by the party in Heusler's back room were due to the premature appearance of the fire fiend, owing to carelessness in handling the materials or ignorance of the teachings of Kriegswissenschaft.
But these are not the only fires that have visited the agitators. On February 1, 1885, Adolph Kramer took possession of a tenement at 157 Ellery street, Brooklyn, in the house owned and in part occupied by Frederick Stuft. At ten o'clock in the evening of February 9 a kerosene oil lamp broke in his apartments, and an interesting conflagration was the result. Stuft's house was seriously damaged, over $300 worth, he says, and Kramer's furniture and belongings to an unknown amount. Mr. Kramer was paid $300 by the insurance company. It was not, however, until Kramer had been prosecuted ineffectually on a charge of incendiarism that he collected from the company.
In the autumn of the same year a similar accident happened in the tenement of a house on Clinton avenue, West Hoboken, occupied by Fritz C. Schaar. The house, owned by Mr. William Murphy, was so badly damaged that only the walls remained intact. Mr. Schaar was fortunately insured.
Mr. Murphy, owner, noted the fact that, when he arrived at the scene, the only thing burning was a bed, and that a strong odor of kerosene pervaded the entire building. But the odor may have been caused entirely by the lamp, and the lamp might have been placed accidentally near the bed before it broke.
Another unfortunate Anarchist was Louis Weber, who lived at 84 Avenue A. The lamp exploded in his tenement at 7.53 o'clock in the evening of November 30 last. His furniture was insured for $600.
Not long ago Wilhelnn Scharff and Carl Wilmund were arrested for carrying concealed weapons with felonious intent. The circumstances are well known, although Scharff was then travelling under the alias Schliman, and was convicted under that name. He is at the penitentiary on Blackwell's Island, and Wilmund was sent to State prison for three and a half years by Recorder Smyth on Monday last. It may be remembered that a letter was found upon Wilmund in which he addressed himself to Most, offering his services in the cause of propaganda by deed.
The flaxen-haired Justus Schwab was approached. The reticence of this reformer is well known, and in this instance he preserved his character. "I would rather have nothing further to say," remarked Mr. Schwab to the reporter; "you know how it is yourself?"