Statement of Bert Contrell

Dublin Core


81/2 x 14"


Contrell discusses the fires at Dougherty’s salon and the Danbury house fire; townsmen suspect it was caused by R.R. workers. No one knows for sure.




MS020 1/1

Document Item Type Metadata


Statement of Bert Cotrell
Made at Danbury Conn.
Saturday Jan 17, ‘91
My name is Bert Cotrell, am 21 years of age, have always lived here. I do not know anything regarding the fires that have taken place in this city, was out of the city in Durham during the late fires, returned here Christmas Eve.
I remember the fire that was discovered in the cellar of Dougherty’s Saloon one year ago last summer. Fire was discovered by Eddie O’Donnell and Mickie McCoy who came from in back of Dougherty’s Saloon and called out “fire.” The fire was put out without much damage. Oil waste was found stuffed in up over the floor because it was always thought that the place was set on fire, but I never heard any persons name mentioned in connection with it. I knew all the boys about there, but I never heard any persons’ name mentioned, I lived at the time at No. 12 Ives St. I have heard it said at different times that it was thought that these fires were set by R.R. men, as all the fires that have taken place have been on the line of Railroads, and a train always chanced to be standing on the track at the time. There are always a number of R.R. men hanging about here, for crews change here. [page break]

[Cotrell Page 2]
At the time of car shop fire over a year ago at noon time, oil waste was found stuffed in the side of the clapboards. I always heard that this was set by R.R. men.
Not fifteen minutes after the Dougherty fire was put out, the Danbury House fire was put out. The Old Danbury House was found to be on fire. Oil waste was found here stuffed into the space in clapboards on side nearest the Engine house, a narrow passage way divides the Engine House from the Danbury House. I have heard it said that it was set by someone from the Engine House, but do not remember who it was said it. The Danbury House was set on fire three times. At one of the attempts the hose was laid before the box was struck. Just which of the fires it was I do not now remember. I know all the members at the Engine House, have never heard them talking about the fires, and never have heard the names of any of them as suspected of being the fire bug. If I had ever heard I would have told Capt Keating before this. have known of no fires since my return to the city.




“Statement of Bert Contrell.” Pinkerton Detective Agency Danbury Fires Investigation Collection, MS020. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 23 Sep. 2019.


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