Statement of Patrick McCarty

Dublin Core


81/2 x 14"


McCarty's statement slightly telling his background in the Danbury community. Suspects that he has met and seen the "fire bugs" and gives a detailed account of the men he believes are the fire bugs.




MS020 1/2

Document Item Type Metadata


Statement of Patrick McCarty
Made at Danbury, Conn.
Thursday Jan 22/91.
My name is Patrick McCarty, I was born in Danbury, am years of age. I am a hatter. I am doubtful if any person will believe me as to what I say as I have a hard name, having served a term in Trentin Prison for burglary, but for two years I have been straight. I do not drink, and have not since I came out of prison. I am well acquainted with all the boys in town, I believe that I have met and seen the so called “fire bugs”, also that the man seen in front of Marions house on Monday night is one of the persons that I am going to speak of.
On Saturday night before the Osborne fire I left Ginty’s salon on White St in company with four young fellows and started for home, I had just turned onto Maple Ave when we saw two men ahead of us, I may as well give you a description of them now such as I afterwards got.
First man. Age 40 to 42 years, Height 5 ft 9 ½-, Build, medium 168 pounds. Beard sandy mustache, Dress long faded dark coat, scotch cap, some times a derby, dark pants, coat has heavy color. [page break]

[McCarty page 2]
Second man. Age 35; Height 5 ft. 5 or 6, build medium 145 pounds, beard, black mustache; dress heavy black chinchilla coat, black derby hat
They were walking towards shop that was afterwards burned, but on the other side of the street. At the first open lot on Maple Ave from White St, on East side, the short man ran into the lot and got over a low fence. The tall man went across the street and got under stoop of Reed and Beebe’s shop. My suspicions were at once directed towards these men. I then told my companions to keep right on, and I would double on these men. I then kept on to First St and cut through Balmforth Ave, and back to R. R. track, and just as I was coming in sight of shop I saw the short man come out of a lot and cross the street towards Reed and Beebe’s shop, go up along the street side of the shop to where there was a place for wagons to back in for box shop. He went in here, in a moment the man came out from under stoop and went up the street close to the building. He walked in a stooping manner to the place where the short man went in. I came up behind the shop and saw that my companions that I had told to go on had returned and were standing near where the two men went in. The men came out, and on seeing the three fellows [page break]

[McCarty Page 3]
acted as if they were drunk, and as they passed the three companions of mine they raised an umbrella (it was raining just a little at the time) and drew the umbrella down over their faces as if to hide themselves. They then continued up to Balmforth St to Patch St, here we lost them. I told my companions to not mention this to any outsiders for I believed that these two men were the “fire bugs.” The spot that they went in at is where the fire was discovered. These two men I have seen, one in L. Mead’s salon near Wooster House, and one in salon on Balmforth near North. They are always together.
I did not see men again until the following Monday after the Saturday I first saw them. One was standing near New England Depot, and the other on the other side of street near New England Hotel. This was in the afternoon, the short man was near depot and made a motion towards the tall man. I was standing at cor of Maple and White streets when the motion was made. They both left and went in different directions.
On Tuesday evening between 8 and 9 pm both men came out of Mead’s salon on Main Street walked out White to Patch St. They separated, I followed tall man out as far as North St he turned and saw [page break]

[McCarty Page 4]
me. I kept right on, turned a corner, and when I again looked for him he was gone. It is my opinion that either one of these men lives or stays out in this section of the city. Both these parties are dead strangers in town; I have not seen the men since.
There is a man named Jennings a machinist working in “Herma’s” shop back of Ackrs eating house on White St. He is looking for the place now occupied by Morris Meyers as chief of the fire department. He is a great friend of Stevens and is filling Steven’s head full of the idea that he will get him a place out in Chicago in the fire dep’t.
Jennings came from Chicago about four years ago and I understand he was in the fire department there, but was discharged for some act he done. He came here first selling a patent fire extinguisher. He then got into Herma’s shop in some of the waste found has been found small pieces of steal fillings. Now if that is a fact does it look that all the oil waste came from the can boxes?
This in connection with the fact that Jennings is out for the place as chief of department that he is a close friend of Stevens, and that he is a machinist, and was formerly a fire man in Chicago [page break]

[McCarty Page 5]
makes it look to me as if he might have something to do with these fires. He, I understand, was one of the first out to Lyons fire.
Very little credit can be placed on my word, or at least here in the town. I got my reputation when I was young, I have seen wherein, I have been foolish. I have tried to live right since I came out, and I have, you can ask Will M. Phelney, he knows me and knows all about me.
The Grand St fire on Monday night, I believe was done by the tall man and the stranger that came past. I believe it is his short companion who was keeping “cases” for him.
Since I saw them on that Tuesday evening I have not seen them since, but have kept a look out for them wherever I am down street. If I see either of them I will do my best to hold them.




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


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