To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with Firehouse. Already have an account? Login
Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.
Complete the registration form.
MARYSVILLE, WA: APRIL 4, 1912 – About 7 o’clock in the evening, fire was discovered on the second floor of the Anderson Building, just over the entrance to the Star Theatre. Within a short time, the entire population was on scene to watch the fire department battle the flames. As the fire was being fought, many valuables were carried to safety by firemen, including the piano from the Star Theatre.
TARRYTOWN, NY: APRIL 4, 1912 – An explosion in an oil storage room of a hardware store started and fed a dramatic fire. The first explosion set fire to the room, causing the owner to evacuate the store of occupants. As he and a woman were fleeing, a second explosion occurred, this time caused by a powder keg, and threw the two people outside the building. The owner was trapped under a large section of collapsed wall and the woman was slightly burned. The owner was pulled clear as the first fire unit rolled in. The flames spread with amazing speed and were taking control of the entire three-story brick structure at Depot Square and Main Street. Firemen battled the flames for three hours before bringing it under control.
SALEM, NJ: APRIL 7, 1912 – A fire that started in a knitting mill and was fanned by high winds threatened the entire town. Flames leaped from the mill, igniting the opera house, a marble works, a school, a furniture store, a livery stable and a home. The fire was becoming so large the commander of the nearby Fort Mott army post sent the fort’s firefighters four miles to battle the fire.
BECKLEY, WV: APRIL 14, 1912 – Fire broke out early Sunday morning in the rear of the Rose & Turner Co.’s building at Heber and Neville streets. The building contained a large stock of furniture and other flammables. The fire bell, installed on March 28, was rung to call out the volunteer firemen. As they arrived pulling their hose reel and wagon, they faced an awesome sight: a large body of fire that was quickly spreading in both directions. Flames leaped the street and exposures in every direction were burning briskly. The heat was becoming so intense that the electric wires were burning and falling and even the concrete sidewalks were being destroyed. In all, 30 buildings in a two-block square were destroyed, including the hose house.
WATERBURY, CT: APRIL 22, 1912 – Twelve fires, all apparently of incendiary origin, occurred between 1:55 and 9:35 P.M. At a fire that destroyed the old City Hall, Fireman James Mitchell was seriously injured when the water tower he was working on toppled over. Mitchell had been at the top of the tower, 75 feet in the air, when it overturned and fell into electric wires before crashing to the ground. The fireman had fallen 60 feet and was nestled semi-conscious in a tangle of wires. Other firemen used ladders to rescue him and he was rushed to the hospital. The flames ate through City Hall and into the police station and fire department headquarters before being extinguished.