Haskins Went to
The Colored Hercules Crushed Between
Boiler and Wheel
Consumed in Extricating the Man From His position and Five Minutes
Afterwards He dies
unsightly depression in the street in front of the Baker block was the
cause of an accident which resulted in the death of Sam Haskins, the
call-fireman at engine house No. 2, at about 6 o'clock last evening.
An alarm was rung at 5:55 p. m., and two
minutes later the engine and hook and ladder wagon were tearing along
over the paving stones and car tracks.
Sam Haskins, the Herculean colored fireman, jumped to
his place on the engine but, owing to the roughness of the pavement, the
numerous car tracks and the depression before mentioned, the rapidly
drawn engine was so unsteady that the unfortunate fireman lost his
balance, flung his arms about wildly for a moment, then fell between the
left hind wheel and the boiler and was crushed to death. The
engine was stopped at once, but it was fully ten minutes before the
wheel was taken off and the mangled and dying man removed.
Meanwhile a large crowd collected about the engine.
The fireman was the recipient of much adverse criticism
for not putting out the fire which was rapidly heating the boiler and
literally roasting the victim.
Drs. Choate and McCarthy were summoned, and under
their direction the dying man was carried to the engine house, where he
was placed upon a mattress.
Efforts were made to revive him, but he died about
five minutes after he was removed from the engine. The body was
badly crushed by the force of the turning wheel. A large iron rod
on the boiler was bent to one side by the impact.
Sam Haskins was a bachelor who came here from Virginia
abut fifteen years ago. He was a well-known character about town
and had many friends. His bravery was manifested at the time he
defended Officer Valencia, who was attacked by De Camp several years
The horrible accident that caused his death was
witnessed by a large crowd, most of whom give conflicting accounts of
the matter. The above is the version of Professor Hutchison who
witnessed the whole affair.
CRUSHED AND BURNED
HORRIBLE DEATH OF FIREMAN
The Colored Callman Fell
the Wheel and Boiler of His
Engine and Was Mangled and
Sam Haskins, a call fireman and well-known colored politician, met death
in a most agonizing manner yesterday evening.
Haskins belonged to engine company No. 2, and was always prompt to
respond to the call to duty. An alarm was rung in at 6 o'clock
yesterday evening and the engine and hook and ladder wagon were soon
tearing along over the rough pavement and the rougher car tracks in front
of the Baker Block on North Main street. Sam Haskins sprang to his
place on the rear of the engine, but, owing to the roughness of the road,
he lost his balance, flung his arms about wildly for a moment, then fell
between the boiler and the left hind wheel, where he was crushed and burned
The wheel of the engine had to be taken off before the victim could
be removed from his perilous position, and it was fully ten minutes before
this was done. Meanwhile a large crowd gathered and offered a
thousand suggestions, and the fire in the engine made the boiler hotter
and hotter. As soon as the wheel was taken off the dying man was
carried to the engine-house where Drs. Choate and McCarthy attended
him. All attempts at resuscitation failed, and he died within a few
Sam Haskins was a well-known character about town, and had many
friends among the white as well as the colored population. He was a
native of Virginia and came to Los Angeles about fifteen years ago.
He was about 40 years of age and unmarried.
The body was taken to Kregeio & Bresee's, where the inquest
will be held when it suits the convenience of the Coroner.