Is McCready the Fire Bug

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Description

Danbury newspaper article from April 17, 1893.

Date

April 17, 1893

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Text

[Evening News, April 17,1893]

IS McCREADY THE FIRE BUG
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ARRESTED BY DEPUTY SHERIFF SCOLLIN ON SATURDAY
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He is Charged With Firing the Taylor Building on Elm Street – Providing an Alibi.
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Daniel McCready, of 83 Elm street, was arrested at four o’clock Saturday afternoon by Deputy Sheriff Frank C. Scollin. McCready was locked up in a cell in the police station. The charge was arson.
The arrest was the result of an investigation of the fire which damaged James S. Taylor’s building on Elm street on the night of April 6.
McCready was arrested by Policeman Fisher a short time after the fire and held on suspicion. The policeman found him in Ives court with a bunch of matches sticking from his vest. There was no evidence against him and he was discharged at that time.
The prisoner was arraigned before Judge Walsh this morning. He pleaded not guilty in the charge of arson read by the clerk. Attorney William B. Leonard defended him.
John Riley was the first witness called. He testified that between 9 and 10 on the night of the fire he saw McCready in McCann’s restaurant, which is in the building where the fire was. About ten o’clock he saw McCready standing at the foot of the stairs which lead from the rear yard to Turn Hall where the fire started. A few minutes later he saw McCready go up the stairs with a bottle in his hand. He did not see him again.
James S. Taylor testified to the fac[t] that the building was damaged by fire on the night of April 6.
William E. Fuller an inspector of the gas company testified that he was in Turn Hall a few days before the fire and the lock on the door was out of order and the door was not fastened. Martin Ryan swore that he saw McCready in McCann’s restaurant about ten o’clock on the night of the fire. McCready was seated at one of the tables eating, and the witness left him there when he went out.
Charles McAllister testified that the fire started near a closet in the building in which Turn Hall is located. He was the first to go up stairs when the fire was discovered, and he found the door wide open. There was a strong odor of kerosene in the hall.
Sergeant Waggneor testified that he found a bunch of matches stuck between the buttons of McCready’s vest when he was brought into the station house by Policeman Fisher. He did not detect any odor of kerosene upon him.
This concluded the evidence of the state and Attorney Leonard made a motion for the discharge of the prisoner, claiming that the state had proved nothing. Prosecuting Attorney Booth submitted a claim that sufficient evidence had been presented to hand the prisoner over to the superior court for trial. Judge Walsh denied the motion of the defense.
Daniel McCready, the prisoner, was the first witness called for the defense. He said that he was employed to do chores around McCann’s restaurant, and that on the night of the fire he ate supper there, and at half-past eight went across to Leahy’s Saloon, which is nearly opposite.
He remained there until 6:15 when his brother-in-law, James Lockwood, came in and he went home with him. Lockwood lives on West street. When the fire alarm struck for a fire in the vicinity of box 45 on South street at 10:20, McCready was at Lockwood’s house and a few minutes later he left there to go to the home of another relative on Highland avenue. He was sitting in the kitchen of the house on Highland avenue when the alarm was given for the Elm street fire. When he heard the general alarm he went to the fire.
James Lockwood corroborated the statements of McCready in regard to meeting him in Leahy’s saloon at 9:15 and going home with him, and testified that McCready was in his house until half past ten. Mrs. Lockwood also corroborated part of the prisoner’s statements.
Several other witnesses who saw McCready in the saloon and at Mr. Lockwood’s house substantiated his statements.
The hearing was adjourned until two o’clock this afternoon to allow the defense to secure other witnesses.
[END ARTICLE]

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Citation

“Is McCready the Fire Bug.” WCSU Archives, 16 June 2017. Accessed on the Web: 26 May 2019.

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