Montgomery, AL Capital Brewery Stable Fire, Jul 1904


Eighteen Horses and Mules Were Destroyed.


President Grell Says Loss Will Be Several Thousands.

Firemen Saved the Main Building and Bottling Works from the Flames. Accident to One of the Fire Engines.

Eighteen horses and mules were burned to a crisp last night in the destruction of the barn and stables of the Capitol Brewing and Ice Company in North Montgomery.
The flames had made such headway on the wooden building stored with grain and hay when the blaze was discovered at 11 o’clock that out of a total of twenty-one head of stock it was impossible to rescue but three, and one of them was so badly burned that he may have to be shot.

The horses and mules were tied to their stalls and unaided they could not have escaped even if they had not been maddened by the flames.

The origin of the fire is unknown. It was discovered by a negro fireman of the brewery who was working on the night shift. At that time the stables were a mass of flames. The building, a long wooden structure, was detached from the main building by about one hundred feet. An unconstructive view of it could not be obtained from the engine room. It was the flash of the flames in the darkness of the night that attracted the attention of the negro fireman.

He gave and alarm and a telephone message was sent immediately to the fire department. President N. J. Grell and other officers of the company were informed of the fire and they hurried to the scene.

Bicycle Patrolman Downs and Cantey who were in the neighborhood were, with the exception of the night force of the brewery, the first to reach the blazing building. An attempt was made to rescue the doomed horses and mules, but the intense heat prevented the rescue of any of the horses and mules except those that were in the immediate neighborhood of the main door.

Loss Not Estimated.
The loss had not been estimated last night, but it will probably be several thousand dollars. The heaviest loss was incurred in the burning of the live stock.

The mules and horses were of the best class. They were used in the delivery service of the company. Fortunately for the company the wagons were stored in another building. The company’s harness was, however, stored in the barn, and every piece of it was burned. The barn, stables and live stock were insured.

The bottling works of the company were situated immediately adjacent to the barn and stables. They were also of wood and for a few minutes they were in serious danger. A splendid water pressure was to be had from the plugs, and the firemen never found it necessary to call the engines into use.

The fire created considerable excitement among the people of the downtown district and those of the northern part of the city who were awake at that hour. The first news sent out was the statement that the brewery was burning. A large crowd that collected at the fire felt general satisfaction that the first report was unfounded.

President Griel Talks.
President Griel of the Capital Brewing and Ice Company, said last night when the fire had been gotten under control:
“I cannot tell at this time what our losses will be. I understand that eighteen out of twenty-one horses and mules in the stables were burned to death. The barn was stocked to the roof with hay and grain. Every head of the stock that was burned was a valuable animal. The fire will not however, interfere with the business of our company. We will start out tomorrow as if there had been no fire. Our customers will be serves as they have been in the past. The burned property was insured, but I hardly think the insurance will cover the loss.”

The run of the Fire Department to the fire was marked by an accident which fortunately had no serious consequences. The front axle of steamer No. 2, stationed at Scott Street, broke while the firemen were on their way but all firemen on the engine escaped without hurt. The accident occurred the track of the Montgomery Traction Company and had gone about twenty feet. In a place heavy and deep with mud the front axle gave way at the king bolt. The mud had slowed the progress of the engine and the firemen were not thrown to the ground.

The engine is several years old but the axle had recently been put in.

The Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, AL 8 Jul 1904