Welland History .ca

Historic EVENTS in and around Welland

Results for ‘Fires’


[Welland Tribune, 23 April 1897]

About 12 o’clock on Thursday night last week, a dastardly attempt was made to burn the steamer Garden City, now lying at Port Dalhousie. Two men who were fishing in the harbor saw someone drive up in a buggy, and fearing it was the fisheries inspector, went to a place of hiding. The man went away in about twenty minutes and the fisherman returned to their nets. Shortly after they discovered a fire breaking out on the deck of the steamer Garden City. The fishermen at once notified the canalmen nearby, and the fire was extinguished before much damage was done. A pile of charred shavings and cotton waste saturated with coal oil was found on the deck, and a broken bottle which has contained coal oil.


Fonthill News

[Welland Tribune, 1 October 1897]

The house and blacksmith shop of Wm. Dougherty were totally destroyed by fire on Saturday evening. The fire originated in the kitchen, from a lamp, and quickly spread through the house.

A brave attempt was made to save the blacksmith shop, but to no avail. Andrew Lymburner’s house was only saved by the indefatigable work of the citizens, who formed themselves in to a pail brigade and did yeoman service. Mr. Dougherty will be a heavy loser, as all his furniture, bedding, etc., was destroyed. The insurance on the place will not more than cover the mortgage on it, so that Mr. Dougherty is not only left penniless, but entirely destitute, his clothing even being burned. Mr. Dougherty is a good mechanic, however, and if he will attend to business properly will receive the active support of the village.


Fonthill News

[Welland Tribune, 8 October 1897]

Dougherty, our blacksmith, has hired a residence of Joe Gould and moved in, and the first of next week will have his new blacksmith shop ready for patrons. He is hustling right sharp. Give him a call for horseshoeing and blacksmithing-the fellow has had hard luck from the fire fiend.


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.


[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.


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.


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 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.


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.


[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.


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.


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.


[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.


[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.