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Extensive Rutland fire - 1873

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Extensive Rutland fire - 1873

Posted: 18 Jul 2013 9:07PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 19 Jul 2013 7:21AM GMT
Rutland Daily Globe.
Dec 31, 1873.
Extensive Fire.
Three Dwellings Destroyed.

About midnight, last night, the shrill cry of "fire" echoed through our streets and roused our citizens at the first alarm, The smoke and flame that lighted up the vicinity of the corner of Grove street and West street, gave authentic premonition of the whereabouts of the fire, and thither the crowd rushed. The flames seemed to come from the centre of two or three buildings and was difficult of approach. The fire companies were soon on hand.
Washington No. 2 hose cart arrived at the spot early, while the engine soon followed and stationed itself on the corner of the streets. The Nickwackctt No. 1, was placed on West street near the corner of Wales, while Killington steamer No. 3, stationed itself in the depot park. The Hook and Ladder boys were promptly on hand and business was speedily began in the frantic endeavors to fight the flames which were making speedy headway. The starting point of the fire was in the rear of the grocery of J. McLaughlin on West
street and between that and the grocery store of B. W. Marshall on Grove street. Contiguous to these two stores was the furniture and upholstery establishment of J. W. Stearns, which is located directly on the corner of the two streets. These three buildings were in imminent danger. The smoke which soon issued from the upholstery store filled the air with dense-and suffocating volumes, blinding the crowd and covering the flames
which roared and crackled like wild-fire. The block, belonging to MESSRS. SADLER, THRALL AND CRAMTON, was the first to go. The flames had an easy prey of it, even before the hose were directed upon it. It was not many minutes before the Nickwackett’s had a good stream playing upon it, materially deterring the spread of the fire, but failing to check its course in other directions.

Mr. J. McLaughlin occupied the west end as a grocery, and in the same block, between him and Stearns was an unoccupied room, formerly used as a meat market. This building was formerly known as the "Bee Hive block" and was moved from the site now occupied by the GLOBE block. It was insured for $500, in Queen's Fire Insurance Co , with Mr. Francisco. McLaughlin's stock was entirely destroyed. He was insured for $1,200 with Harry W. Nye. The store of J. W. Stearns was some time in burning, owing to the material in it. In the second story were some rooms occupied by Mr. John Cunningham, a saddler. The smoke was driven into his rooms at the outset, compelling a hasty removal of himself, wife and two children, with scarcely clothing enough on to keep them from freezing, the children even without shoes to their feet. Their furniture, goods, and everything were entirely swept away. Mr. Cunningham lost his vest in which was some $40 in money and a watch. He was insured on his goods for $500 with Messrs. Burnham & Temple. His case is truly a serious one. The latter agents had also $.2,000 on the stock of Mr. Stearns, which was almost completely destroyed.

The well-known grocery and provision store of BENJ. W. MARSHALL, ESQ., on Grove street was the next to feed the flames. It was confidently hoped at the outset that this building could be saved, but owing to the bursting of the hose of two of the companies just at the time when most needed, the flames ate their way into the roof and made good their hold until it fell. The stock of Mr. Marshall was speedily hustled out into the street through the energetic efforts of neighbors and friends, and the shell itself was only left to burn. On this building was an insurance of $3,000, with H. W. Porter, who also had $5,000 upon Marshall's stock. The latter was of course somewhat damaged by removal.

In the second story resided Mr. John B. Ballance, who saved his goods early. He was fully insured.

An old shed situated between Marshall's building and the Grove block, next north, was pulled down by the Hook and Ladder boys. Grove block was in danger at one
o'clock, but the persistent efforts of the firemen the flames were soon after got under control and it was but little scorched. The sparks flew widely in all directions
throughout the progress of the fire, but owing to the snow-covered roofs did no damage.

The firemen worked like heroes, were jolly and kept busy. They worked under many disadvantages but done good service under the competent direction of Chief Engineer Walter C. Landon, his Assistants Dunn & Hilliard who both did everything possible to hasten the work, as well as the foremen of the different companies. Chief of Police Crawford assisted materially in securing the goods of the parties burned out.

The cause of the fire cannot at present be named, and will probably remain as much a mystery as many other like occurrences. It was not discovered until too late to save the buildings and started in just the place to make the disaster that its fury occasioned.

The firemen wish to return thanks to Mr. Nelson Brown and wife for furnishing refreshments and hot coffee to them during the fire, also to Mr. O. W. Currier.

The fire is still burning, though under control, as we go to press.

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