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Historic EVENTS in and around Welland

Results for ‘Fires’

THE STEAMER LAKESIDE

Attempt To Burn the Vessel At Her Dock In St. Catharines-An Infernal Machine.

[Welland Tribune, 25 July 1897]

St. Catharines, June 20-An almost successful attempt was made about 11 o’clock on Saturday night to burn the steamer Lakeside as she lay at her wharf here. Most of the crew had retired, and the watchman was making his rounds when he heard a slight explosion in the vicinity of the boiler room, and turning suddenly found flames breaking out in all directions from the vessel. The hands were immediately aroused and set to work to fight the flames. The engineer started the pony engine and soon had two or three streams playing on the fire. The city firemen were also promptly on the scene and the flames were quickly drowned out. The damage to the boat will be about $300 and is covered by insurance. When daylight came this morning and the work of repairing was started the remains of an infernal machine were found in the boiler room.

THOROLD FIRE

[Welland Tribune, 15 March 1889]

A disastrous fire occurred about 10 o’clock on Tuesday evening, in the moulding shop at Stuart & Monro’s foundry. The firemen were promptly on the spot, and succeeded in preventing the flames from spreading to the adjoining buildings. The loss is fully recovered by insurance.

BUFFALO’S GREAT FIRE

Forty Buildings Destroyed or Badly Damaged and One Life Lost

[Welland Tribune, 8 February 1889]

BUFFALO, Feb 8- The most damaging fire that ever occurred in Buffalo, so far on the wholesale destruction of property is concerned, broke out at 2.45 a.m. today. It raged with terrible fury for upward of four hours, and in that time destroyed several large business buildings, a hotel and several smaller structures. A high wind prevailed, which materially helped the progress of the flames. The fire started on the fourth floor of Root & Keating’s five storey building on the south western corner of Carroll and Wells streets. The flames quickly reached the top storey and roof and also worked their way down to the lower storeys. A general alarm was ordered, summoning the entire fire department. The building burned with the utmost rapidity. The whole city was illuminated almost as bright as day, and people living three miles away were a wakened by the brilliant glare on the windows of their houses. Root & Keating’s building was a massive structure of brick, with a frontage of 134 feet in Carroll street and 127 in Wells street. Directly across Carroll street from the Root & Keating building, fronting on Seneca street, was the five storey brick and iron stove warehouse of Sherman S. and Jewett & Co., supposed to be a fireproof building, and also the new six-storey candy manufactory of Sibley & Holmwood, erected in place of that destroyed by fire two years ago. These two large structures were next attacked by the flames, and their destruction was only a matter of a few minutes. On the opposite side of Wells street, a little further north, the Broezel house, a massive six storey structure, whose guests were up and dressing a few minutes after the alarm. They were frightened, and they had good reason to be, for the commercial men, who largely composed its guests, had painful memories of hotel fires in Buffalo.

These three great buildings were rapidly destroyed and then the six storey building occupied by Moffatt Brothers, Hoffield & Co., and other firms. The flames spread along Seneca street, and were only brought under control about five o’clock. When the walls of the Broezel house fell, several firemen had a narrow escape with their lives. One was felled to the ground, but a heroic fellow worker carried him out of the reach of danger.

ONE LIFE LOST

About noon a number of firemen were at work in the ruins oat the rear of the Arlington hotel, when the western wall of the rear extension fell without any warning. All of the men were out of the way of the falling bricks and timber except Dominick R.Marion, of engine 10, and John Moest, foeman of engine 9. Moest was struck on the head by some of the bricks, receiving a bad scalp wound, and being otherwise injured. Marion was buried in the ruins, and if not killed at once his life must soon have been crushed out by the immense weight resting on him. Frantic efforts were made by his comrades to reach him, but without avail. He was about thirty-four years old.

THE BURNT DISTRICT

The official records show that between 3 and 5 o’clock this morning the wind maintained a velocity of thirty miles an hour, and at times between 3 and 4 o’clock, it reached thirty-five miles. The fire, beginning in the big Root & Keating building, spread by contact or the force of the big wind blowing at the time in all directions, but chiefly to the northward and eastward. Wells street is a complete desert from Seneca to Exchange streets-an appalling chaos of brick, twisted iron, and an extricable tangle of wires. The total area included in the burned district is roughly estimated at seven or eight acres, and the total number of buildings destroyed or gutted at forty.

LOSSES

The principal losses re figured are about as follows: Root and Keating, $250,000, their tenants, $200,000; S.S. Jewett & Co., $200,000 Broezel house, $160,000; Sibley & Holmwood, $$150,000; Fowler & Sons, $$80,000; S.F. Egan, $40,000; Sidney Shepherd, & Co., $50,000; the Arlington hotel, $40,000; A.T. Kerr & Co., $30,000; Strootman building and tenants, $500,000. Losses on Exchange street $75,000. Losses on north side Seneca, $200,000. Other losses, $150,000. This could make a total of $2,785,000. Opinions have been given, however, that that the entire loss will not fall short of $300,000.

TWO FIRES

[Welland Tribune, 28 September 1915]

Fire broke out at the home of Wm. Taylor, Albina St., Saturday morning, about 2.30. Mr. Taylor was the only occupant of the house at the time. He was in bed, and the fire had failed to awaken him. When the neighbors fetched him out, he was partly suffocated by the smoke. Dr. Binns was called and after working over him for a short time, Mr. Taylor revived.

The fire started from defective wiring in the kitchen. The house was gutted and practically all the contents destroyed. The house was owned by J.W. Frollick of Canboro. The loss of $350 is partly covered by insurance.

Mrs. Taylor has been in the hospital for over six weeks undergoing an operation.

A small blaze started in the house of Mrs. Smith, 290 East Main Street, about 9 o’clock Saturday morning but was extinguished before the firemen arrived. The damage was small.

WILLIAM TAYLOR

Wm. Taylor Had a Narrow Escape in Midnight Blaze

[Welland Telegraph, 28 September 1915]

Fire broke out at an early hour Saturday morning at the home of Wm. Taylor, Albina street. Mr. Taylor, who was alone in the house, was aroused from sleep by a neighbor, Herbert Swayze, and was able to get out just in time. Mrs. Taylor has been ill in the hospital for some weeks and the children were also absent. The fire is thought to have originated from electric wiring in the kitchen. The dining room and kitchen were pretty well cleaned out by the flames. The house is owned by J.W. Fralick of Canboro.

The alarm was sounded on Saturday morning for a fire at the home of Mrs. Smith, East Main street. Little damage was done.

A THRILLING ESCAPE

H.W. Macoomb’s House Has Narrow Escape From Second Destruction by Fire.

Damage May be $1500

[Welland Tribune, 6 December 1907]

Shortly before eight o’clock on Tuesday evening, Mrs. Macoomb, who was in the drawing room of their home on Division street, noticed an odor of something burning. Mr. Macoomb ran upstairs and discovered smoke issuing from the hot air register in the hallway. He picked up their young son Hudson, who was sleeping in the bedroom on the left and sent word across the street to Mr. Chas. Rice to send in an alarm.

The firemen and a large number of willing helpers were on hand immediately, but to get at the fire was quite a different problem. It was seen that there was fire underneath the floor all the way from the main furnace hot air flue in the hallway over to the register at the other side of the bedroom where Hudson had been. To break in this strip of hardwood flooring was hard work, but it was eventually accomplished and sufficient water was poured in with the hose to flood out the fire.

The damage by the fire alone was not so great as that caused by water and the breaking of the floors to get at the fire.

Fortunately everything downstairs was safely got out of the way before the water started to run through the ceilings.

The total extent of the damage would probably be $1600 to $1500 and was fully covered by insurance.

The damage extended to the upstairs flooring in the bedroom and hall, the ceilings of the hall, the dining room and sitting room and some articles in the bedroom which were scorched.

One of the incidents of the occurrence was that the maid, who was handed the jewel case to look after, took it outside and laid it on the ground. Later on it was discovered broken to pieces, and the contents were scattered about the ground, but on carefully searching, everything was recovered.

The firemen were hardly able to work in the dense smoke for a time, and some of the men were obliged to get out into the fresh air.

The water caused the electric current to become diffused throughout the building, so that shocks could be felt from the walls, and Messrs. Page and Houston had a difficult task to get up into the smoky attic and throw off the switch.

It is fortunate indeed that the fire did not break out in the night, or at a time when it would not have been so readily detected.

The furnace was run with gas last winter, but this fall Mr. Macoomb has been using coal, and there is no doubt the fire was caused by a defective hot air conductor.

Mr. and Mrs. Macoomb have taken up their residence in the Rectory for the winter.

A NOONDAY FIRE

[Welland Telegraph, 6 February 1891]

Just after the bell had announced 12 o’clock yesterday, the firemen were summoned by the alarm to the house of Mr. John Peach, on Burgar street, where a fire was in progress, and which they extinguished before a great deal of damage had been done to the building. The fire is supposed to have originated from the chimney, and when discovered it had burned a considerable portion between the roof and ceiling. Mrs. Peach was busy preparing the dinner at the time, but as soon as she learned of the fire dispatched her boy to give the alarm, then with the assistance of some neighbors commenced to clear the house of furniture, most of which was carried out The building belongs to Mrs. Clement, of Buffalo, and the damage is covered by insurance in the Mercantile.

FIRE AT THE IMPERIAL BANK

[Welland Telegraph, 6 February 1891]

The Imperial Bank narrowly escaped destruction by fire on Wednesday evening. Some of the clerks who were working in the building discovered smoke coming from the wainscoting in the manager’s room, and an investigation discovered that fire was smouldering beneath the floor. Mr. P. McMurray was sent for, who after cutting several holes in the floor was able to extinguish the fire. The origin of the fire was from a grate in the room, the floor of which was merely a slab of inch marble resting on the joist, and the intense heat had ignited the wood underneath, and when discovered a 2×10 joist had been burned through. The damage is covered by insurance. Peter worked like a hero in locating and extinguishing the fire, and came out of the fight bearing marks of heavy warfare. If the discovery had not been made just at the time it was, the result might have been disastrous.

A DISASTROUS FIRE

[Welland Telegraph. 1 May 1891]

Last Saturday morning about 11 o’clock the residence of Mr. David Bald, in Thorold township, just outside the corporation, was discovered to be on fire. An alarm was sounded and plenty of assistance from town was soon on hand. The hose company and the hooks made quick time to the scene, but the house was too far away from a hydrant  to make the hose of any benefit until the steamer was brought out. The roads being rough and the distance considerable it was about half an hour after the alarm before the engine could be got to work, but when it did commence it did good work, and was the means of saving the kitchen, the walls, and the lower floor. The hook and ladder company who were early at work did good service. Most of the furniture on the ground floor was saved, but everything upstairs, except the contents of one room, was destroyed. The fire originated from a chimney and getting under the shingles and being fanned by the breeze soon converted the whole roof into a mass of flames, which nothing but the most prompt and decisive action could check, and the distance from water and fire appliances rendered immediate aid impossible. The building was insured in the Waterloo Mutual for $1,500, which more than covers the loss, but the loss on contents, which were uninsured amounts to something like $500. This is Mr. Bald’s second loss by fire, as his barn was destroyed some years ago.

A COSTLY FIRE

Taylor & Crow’s Hardware Store Gets a Roasting

Bad Enough, but it Might Have Turned Out Calamitous-Cool Management Counts-The Water Works a Property Saver-Loss Heavy by Damage to Stock.

[Welland Tribune, 10 March 1893]

WELLAND, March 7.- At 4 p.m., one of the clerks in Taylor & Crow’s large hardware establishment, West Main street, went into the cellar to draw some japan. In doing so, the liquid, through the pressure of gas or some other cause, spurted from the barrel and caught fire. Whether the flames were communicated from a lantern that was burning in the cellar or not, is not known. The fire came like a flash, and the clerk was obliged to retreat to save himself.

Dense volumes of smoke rushed up the elevator opening and stairway, while tongues of flames darted and danced in and out among barrels of highly inflammable oils, varnish and the like. On the floor above was stored kegs of gunpowder, and as the smoke prevented the workers from seeing where the fire was creeping, the position of affairs was for a time alarming.

The firemen gave instant response to the alarm sounded, and the streams were quickly playing on the flames.

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