Events in Kane County, IL
Disastrous Fire Causes an Assignment of the Hercules Works
...A Batavia Boy Narrowly Escapes from the Flames
Monday morning, the Hercules Works, of Aurora, were in a most prosperous and progressive condition, with one of the largest and most expensive exhibits, at the World's Fair, where they were producing ice, with their wonderful machinery, when the thermometer registered at 90 in the shade. A few hours later, a terrible catastrophe ensued. The wicked flames enveloped the immense building, which contained thousands of dollars worth of machinery and hundreds of lives. The brave firemen fought nobly, but in vain. Not only was there millions of dollars lost, but many previous lives were hurled into eternity, in a most horrible manner - literally burned alive. Roy Conde, a Batavia boy, who has held a fine position with the Hercules Co. for some time, was in the fated building at the time of the calamity, and narrowly escaped with his life; jumping from the burning building, but without all of his clothing.
The loss was so great that the Co. has made an assignment, and their Works at Aurora are closed, but it is hoped they will be able to adjust financial matters, and resume business again. ["Batavia Herald" 13 Jul 1893]
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