|Reprinted from: NICHOLAS REPUBLICAN AUGUST 15. 1921|
32 BUILDINGS CONSUMED APPALLING DESTRUCTION RESULT OF FIRE
4 a.m.Fire of unknown origin started in the Busy Bee Restaurant Monday morning at 2:40 - It spread rapidly and at four a.m. was still burning in a number of homes. A great area of the business section was destroyed as well as some of the best residences. The larger part of two blocks was totally destroyed, the loss at this hour being in the neigh-borhood of 5280.000.00. The volunteer fire department. Cherry River Boom and Lumber Company and Fulton Manufacturing Company did the best they could to stop the spread of the flames. A number of business houses were blasted out in the effort to stop the fire but to no avail until the E. E. Buck tailor shop was reached where the flames were subdued on that side of Main street. Everything from the Boston candy Kitchen on the corner of Main and Oakford was wiped out up to an including the Buck building. The fire soon spread to the Star Theater on the other side of the Street and it was soon consumed, also all the wooden structures up to the Richwood Banking and Trust Company brick building. The brick wall of the Nicholas Hardware and Furniture Company was the only thing that stopped the on rush of the fire up Main Street. This building has made history in Richwood fires. being a number of times the salvation of the business district. Many people were not covered by insurance and furniture and household goods were scat-tered helter-skelter about the streets. About an hour after the blaze began the fire spread to the M. E. Church on Walnut Street and completely wiped Out eight houses from that point to a point directly in rear of the J. E.Kessler jewelry store. It then crossed the street to the E. E. Dietz home destroying it as well as the Stanley residence.This is the worst fire Richwood has ever had. A wind was blowing all the time which greatly hindered the efforts of the various departments in getting the blaze under control.The losses are:James Fisher building, three stories, a confectionery and residence, $16,000.Busy Bee Restaurant, two stories, $7,000.Edward Coleman drugstore, $14,000, Building $6,000 upstairs C. B. Barton, $2,000G. C. Murphy, 5 and 10 cent store, two story, $7,000C. A. Dain bldg., Lee Gadd, soft drinks, $3,000.A. M. Cole, upstairs, $1,200.Dr. E. C. Bennett bldg. Hoover Barber shop; $1,000. Alex Murray drug store, $3,000.Mrs. J. T. Baber, branch of Parson-Souderts, Clarksburg, $6,000.J. K. Ward, upstairs, $2,000. J. K. Ward's building, $6,000.G. W. McDaniel Meat Market, $3,000, Joe Kribel, harness shop, $2,000, Kribel Building, $5,000Penn, the tailor, $2,000 Property of Purtz and Hicks, two story, $4,000.E. E. Buck, tailor shop and bldg. $7,000Star Theater, $25,000, Brown rooming house upstairs three story.Fisher building, $11,000 occupied by Heavner store $6,000 and Frank Wilkenson store $14,000.Schaz department store, Oakford Avenue, $6,000. New building under construction, $5,000Juergens restaurant, $4,000. Building owned by Greeks, $6,000.Joe Cerre, confectionery and building, $9,000D. A. Godfrey, clothing $6,000 building, $4,000Joseph Pallone, confectionery and fancy grocery and building, $16,000.M. E. Church corner of Oakford and Walnut, $15,000Eight houses on walnut, $16,000 occupied by Luther Shaver, A. A. Waggoner, John Hardy, Bert Hosey, Claude Umbarger, two houses, Henry Brown, George Matheny, E. D. Dorsey, all losing furnishings. All of the above were completely burned.The Richwood Banking and Trust Company brick building was gutted by the flames, loss being $10,000. It was occupied on the second and third floors by Dr. Veon, Dr. Jarrett, C. & P. Telephone Company, American Legion and others. Losses small with the exception of the telephone company who lost their entire equipment. The Richwood Co-operative store damaged to the extent of $20,000. T. W. McCoy building, $3,000, Masonic Bldg, $3,000. The Cherry River boom and Lumber Co. Electrical dept. heavy losers. Windows all over the business district were broken by the force of the dynamite explosions.At the first gray streaks of dawn peep over the hills this morning they disclose a most heart-rendering view, that of men, woven, and children walking the streets clad only in what they were able to rescue from their burning bedrooms. Everyone is giving thanks that there are on casualties so far.The following have declared their intentions to rebuild:Harry and George Schatz who were building a nice home for their store on Oakford state that they will rebuild immediately.D. D. Godfrey of the Leader store will commence as quickly as possible the erection of a two story building on Oakford Avenue. It will be 20 X 60 and will be of brick.J. P. Kriebel, harness man, will rebuild with brick sides and front 30 feet on Main.Dr. Alex Murry, druggist will be back in business as soon as temporary quarters can be secured.F. N. and N. I. Anderson will immediately erect a three story brick fireproof building on their lot formerly occupied by Coleman drug store and Busy Bee Restaurant. It will be 60 X 80 feet.Joe Palone will start off with a one story building on the corner to be added to as necessity demands.Joe Cerre will start next week to build a two story structure on his corner property on Oakford.CRB&L Co. are making every effort to re-establish electrical service throughout the city.
Reprinted from: The second account of this fire,
from another news paper,
Fire of 1921
This morning at about 2:30 the inhabitants of our beautiful city were awakened by the fire bell at the City Building. The emergency whistle soon took up the echo and people rushed half clad into the streets every one quickened by the anticipation of a battle with Richwoods most hated enemy.....fire. By the time the alarm was given the flames were shooting skyward from Alderson building on the north side of Main Street in which was located the Busy Bee Rest. operated by some Greeks. The presumption is that the fire originated in the kitchen from an overheated stove and had gained such headway before being discovered by the inmates that they barely had time to escape by the aid of ropes from the upper stories of the building. From the beginning it looked as if the town was doomed, as the buildings which were built in close proximity were all of wood and very easily ignited.The fire department was hastily brought into action. In twenty minutes the fire had spread until it had invested the Coleman drug store along side the restaurant building and the Fisher Candy Kitchen on the corner of Main and Oakford. Rapidly the flames spread licking up everything that opposed their mad rage and reaching its tongues across Oakford seemed bent on destroying the Masonic bldg. on the opposite corner of Main and Oakford. Had the firemen not succeeded in staying the flames from this building the whole of West Main st. and West Walnut would have been doomed as the air was pressing in that direction. But by super human efforts the laddies use the water hose with such celerity that the fire was soon extinguished in this building and West Main and Walnut were safe.The next attack was made across Main street, the heat from the burning buildings setting fire to the upper sections of the Star Theater and in almost a twinkling this building and the adjacent building owned by Jas. Fisher and occupied by Heavner and Frank M. Wilkinson furnishings stores were doomed and soon were in ashes. These building being located adjacent to Richwood Banking and Trust company building, this building which is a beautiful three story brick structure was invested, the fire reaching through the windows and intense heat setting the woodwork of the interior on fire. It seemed for a time that this building would be gutted but the firemen succeed in quenching the flames after sever loss had been sustained in the second and third stories. The C. & P Telephone Co. which had its central office in this building was a very heavy loser, the larger portion of the telephone outfit being destroyed, Dr. Jarrett and Dr. Veon, suffered losses. The losses sustained by the banking rooms below were heavy but we are not able at this time to specify the exact loss.The fire quickly spread across and around the bank investing Oakford Avenue in a very few minutes. Every building located on the east side of the street was soon in flames. The building owned by some Greeks and occupied by Echatz bros. as temporary headquarters for their department which was under construction, the Juergens restaurant in the same building, Schatz bros new building, Joe Cerre, Joe Pallone and the city scale house all went up almost in a twinkling as did also the Mary Wilson building. A number of warehouses went up in smoke one owned by the Nicholas Hdwe. and Furniture. The heavy walls of the Nicholas Hardware building prevented the fire from getting a headway east of that building, although the contents of this building as well as the City Hall alongside were damaged extensively. The fire spread north to the M. E. Church. Spreading east along the South side of Walnut Street the buildings were destroyed in succession until it reached the Kessler bldg. which was dynamited and the opening thus made taken advantage of by the fire fighters and the flames checked luckily for the property owners on the North Main the air drifted west and the advantage thus gained aided the sturdy fire fighters who were making a death stand at this point. When the flames reached the E. E. Buck bldg. dynamite was employed and gave the fighters a chance to save the buildings east of this one. The big Harman building along side the Buck bldg. was not touched.Flames raged for practically three hours. Only one accident occurred: Adam Rosysk was hit in the back by a piece of falling glass, wounds dressed and reported as improving.
E. E. Buck
Purtz and Hicks, occupied by Penn and Tailor
Joe Kriebel, harness shop and meat market.
J. K. Ward bldg. Mrs J. T. Baber Ladies store.
C. A. Dain
Lee Gadd and Mr. Murray
G. C. Murphy Co.
F. N. Alderson occupied by the E. F. Coleman drug store.
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