New York Times March 13, 1886
FATALLY HURT IN A COLLISION OF HIS
BUGGY WITH A FIRE ENGINE.
Francis Mahedy, Chief of the Fourteenth Battalion of the Fire Department, died at Gouverneur Hospital at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon from injuries received while driving to a fire at No. 17l Suffolk Street. Chief Mahedy was at the quarters of Truck Company No. 9, in Chrystie Street, at 11:30 o'clock, when he heard an alarm from Box No. 224, at Avenue B and Houston Street. The Chief's driver was on his way to Police Headquarters at the time, carrying his morning report, and not caring to await his return Chief Mahedy jumped into his buggy and, drove in the direction of the fire. He was driving through Stanton street at a fast gait, when, at the junction of that thoroughfare with Ludlow street he noticed Engine No. 17 approaching at swift pace. Ludlow street was crowded with vehicles, and it required all the skill of the driver to pilot the engine safely through the Jam. The driver and Chief Mahedy saw each other at the same moment. The horses attached to the engine were pulled back almost on their haunches, but the impetus of the engine forced them forward. The Chief reined in his horse sharply, and was in the act of turning his buggy, in an effort to avoid the engine when the front wheel on the left side of the latter crashed into the forward wheel on the right side of the buggy, smashing the spokes. The shock hurled the Chief with great force against the boiler of the engine. He fell between the wheels of the engine, but the latter was stopped before the wheels had more than grazed the Prostrate body. The Chief was carried into an adjacent saloon, and was taken thence in an ambulance to Gouverneur Hospital. His left arm was not merely broken; it was smashed, and the ribs on his left side were crushed. As the only chance of saving his life, it was decided to amputate his left arm. This was done at 1 o'clock, but the injured man was unable to bear the shock and died in about an hour.
Chief Mahedy was known as one of the most efficient, as well as one of the bravest, men on the force. He was born in this city in 1839, and was 20 years of age when he joined the Volunteer Fire Department. He was soon elected foreman of Engine No. 31, and held the position until the war broke out, when be donned a uniform. When he returned from the war he found his old position waiting for him, and he filled it until the Volunteer Fire Department went out of existence. On July 3,1872, he was appointed a member of the regular force and assigned to Engine No. 27. He was quickly promoted to the post of Assistant Foreman of Engine No. 12 and afterward to that of Foreman of Engine No. I. In 1881 he was appointed Chief of the Second Battalion, and after serving for three Years was transferred to the Fourth Battalion. For his heroism in assisting in the rescue of five persons from a burning building in Division street in 1864 he was tendered a vote of thanks by the Board of Aldermen, and through Samuel T. Webster, Alderman from the Tenth Ward, a purse of $250 was presented to him. A committee of citizens also presented to him gold watch and chain. During his career as a foreman be assisted in saving a number of other lives. When the Fire Department, soon after the destruction of the Ring Theatre in Vienna, ordered an inspection of the theatres in this city, much of the work was done by Chief Mahedy, and many of his suggestions regarding needed improvements were adopted.
He leaves a wife and four children. who live at No. 283 Henry Street. He depended entirely upon his salary and owned no property. His widow will receive S1,000 and a pension of $25 per month from the police relief fund, of which her husband was a life member.
The regret of the firemen at Chief Mahedy's death is intensified by the fact that the fire which might be said to have caused it was of an inconsequential character. It broke out in the basement of a four story building, that part of which is occupied by John Heinzer, a maker of fire escapes and iron railing, and the rest by Joseph Becterer, a turner. The thirty-five people employed on the premises left the building before the engines arrived. The fire was easily subdued, and the damage done by it was nominal.
On its way to the fire Engine 20 collided, at Houston and Chrystie streets, with one of Conrad Stein's beer wagons. The driver of the latter, Fritz Dennicker, was thrown from his seat. He was injured about the head and body, and was taken to Gouverneur Hospital.
New Yok Times March 14, 1886
A DOUBLY FATAL FIRE
Mahedy's comrades met yesterday morning in Firemen's Hall, with Chief of Department Charles O. Shay in the chair, and passed resolutions reciting the valuable services and high qualities of the dead officer and expressing sorr at his untimely end. Charles 0. Shay. Hugh Bonner, John McCabe, William Rowe, Charles D. Purroy, Joseph F. McGill, Thomas Lally, John J. Bresnan, Benjamin A. Gicquel, John S. Fisher, Samuel Campbell, Michael F. Reeves, Francis J. Reilly, and Thomas Gooderson were appointed a committee to present an engrossed copy of the resolutions to the family. The fire at No. 171 Suffolk-street was doubly fatal, and more firemen were injured than was at first reported. Fritz Dennicker, driver of Conrad Stein's brewery wagon, who was injured at Stanton and Chrystie street, died at the Gouverneur Hospital at 5 o'clock Friday evening. Jacob Beekler, assistant foreman of Hook and Ladder Company No. 9 who was in charge, of Engine No. 20, which dashed into Dennicker's wagon, reported that Dennicker was in the way of the engine when it was going east in Stanton--street. Dennicker lost his presence of mind, let go the reins, and jumped from his wagon, striking the sidewalk with the back of his head. After he had jumped the collision occurred. By it Foreman Henry R. Burger, who was driving, had his foot injured by a keg falling on it from the wagon. Engineer F.J. Nolan, who was on the ashpan, was thrown foreword and his face was cut by a gaugecock of the boiler. Beekler said that Dennickerwas to blame for the accidents.