Middletown, PA fire, Apr 1910


Fire Sweeps Through Middletown, Penn., Causing $400,000 Loss.

HARRISBURG, Penn., April 9. - The business section of Middletown, nine miles north of this city, and an important manufacturing town of about 10,000 people, was swept by fire to-day. About seventy-five buildings were burned with a loss of about $400,000. The town was in danger for two hours until the combined efforts of firemen from this city, Lancaster, Columbia, and Steelton, and the use of explosives, the spread of the fire was stopped.

With the exception of about a dozen buildings such as the Auditorium, Y. M. C. A., Market House, Odd Fellows' building, and a few large stores and residences, the majority of the buildings destroyed were small one-story frame structures, containing stores, restaurants, pool rooms, and offices. Many of the occupants lost everything. Most of the stores had laid in a large Spring and Summer stock, and nothing was saved.

The fire was due to an overheated stove, used to burn the refuse of the Market House. It set fire to the building and the flames communicated to the Auditorium and swept right and left among the stores.

A high wind carried the sparks for a long distance, and several times set fire to the plant of the Raymond Manufacturing Company, but employes saved it. Sparks also ignited the grand stand and buildings of the Middletown Fair Association and the home of David Brubaker, in Royalton, half a mile from the burning section. The fair buildings and twelve frame houses in Royalton were burned.

The fire burned over a territory covered by four blocks, the spread being so rapid under the stiff breeze that people had no time to move their belongings, and many became panic-stricken. Less than half a dozen persons were hurt during the fire, none of them seriously.

Among the losses are:

Middletown Auditorium, including Post Office, Shultzbach's shoe store, and Longenacker's cafe, loss, $65,000.

McNair's Block, including R. P. Raymond's hardware store; Kraus Brothers' clothing store, and Rewalt's drug store, $50,000.

Middletown Young Men's Christian Association building, $35,000.

Middletown Fair Grounds, grand stand and buildings, $20,000.

Farmers' Market House, $10,000.

Odd Fellows' Hall, $6,000, and about fifty-five other small buildings.

The New York Times, New York, NY 10 Apr 1910