Danbury, CT Fire, Mar 1896


Fifteen Buildings Destroyed---Firemen, Hatter, and Woman Hurt.

DANBURY, Conn., March 3.----The Fire Department battled for four hours this morning with a fire in the centre of the city. Property worth $150,000 was destroyed. Half the damage is covered by insurance.

Capt. Hoyt and Frank Eastwood, a hoseman, were badly injured. Mrs. Hattie Carpenter, colored, who jumped from a window, was internally hurt. She was taken to the hospital. Fifteen buildings, all but one of wood, were burned to the ground.

The fire was caused by the explosion of an alcohol tank at Charles D. Park's hat shop. Mr. Park was severely burned, but he gave an alarm at once. Within five minutes the flames had spread to the adjoining buildings, all wooden ones.

The territory attacked by the fire is bounded by Maple Avenue, White Street, and Maiden Lane. In it were Weed's stables, Meeker's block, the Barnum Building, and Steven's sash and blind factory. There were twenty-five families housed in the district, too, and the people were compelled to flee for their lives.

Two stables and a drug store were the first to succumb. Then two grocery stores, two fruit stands, and several saloons felt the heat and were hastily vacated. A feed store came next, the latter on the first floor of a four-story building.

In Weed's stables, five horses, one a valuable trotter, were burned to death. There were several horses in Freeman's stables, but they were rescued.

The blocks burned were, for the most part, occupied by stores on the first floors and families overhead. The occupants all escaped, but only by exercising much haste. Some were obliged to jump from the windows, and three or four were injured. None was hurt seriously, however, except Mrs. Carpenter, who dropped from the third story and fell on her back.

The flames reached the Meeker block, on the south side of White Street, about 9 o'clock. An hour later the walls fell, and several firemen were buried in the debris. It was there Capt. Hoyt and Hoseman Eastwood received their injuries.

On the other side was the Ely block. Just as it was about to be attacked, the direction of the wind changed, and the flames were carried away. A branch house of McElroy Brothers, wholesale provision and meat dealers, was also saved in this way.

The New York Times, New York, NY 4 Mar 1896