UP FIRE ESCAPE SIX STORIES. ~ Patrolman, Weighing 275, Rescues Girl Locked in Factory.

September 3, 1909

Patrolman, Weighing 275, Rescues
Girl Locked in Factory.

Patrolman Herman Hartman, who weighs 275 pounds, climbed the fire escape of the Cluett-Peabody Shirt Company at Eighth street and Broadway and rescued Lucy Henkensmeier, 15 years old, from the sixth floor where she had accidentally been locked in at closing time.

Lucy called up police headquarters over the telephone and between sobs said taht it looked like she would have to stay there all night unless help was sent at once. She had been in and adjoining room, she said, and the floor manager concluded that all had left when he locked the door. Ivan Knuedsen, a patrolman, accompanied Hartman to the scene.

In hopes of picking the lock of the building, Hartman was equipped with burglar outfits found in the station. A "jimmy" was of no avail, he found, and no skeleton kep would work. A charge of nitroglycerine was the only alternative, the two "cops" concluded. Just then a girl's sob drifted down from an open window.

"I can't stand that," said Hartman. "I'm going in the building."

Five feet above was the fire escape, just high enough to be hard to ascend from the ground. With a cat-like spring and a twist of the body, the fat policeman managed to get on the first rung and then the ascent was easy. He soon disappeared in the building and reappeared a moment later. He helped the girl down the ladder and she jumped in safety to Knuedsen's arms at the bottom.

Hartman perspired freely when he reached the ground.

"I guess that will take the fat off me about as good as drilling in Convention hall," he said.

The girl, who lives at 1811 Charlotte street, was hardly able to talk when she reached the ground.

"I was afraid to try the fire escape," she said.