Danbury, CT Fires, Dec 1890



DANBURY, Conn., Dec. 21.----A fire bug got in some effective work here Saturday night and Sunday morning, kindling two extensive fires. The first destroyed the lumber yard of Osborne Brothers at White and Canal Streets and six loaded freight cars on a siding of the Housatonic Road adjoining, and partly destroyed the Housatonic freight house. Osborne Brothers lose $26,000 and the Housatonic Railway Company about $10,000.

The second fire occurred at 2 o'clock this morning and totally destroyed the large box factory of Green & Beebe, a two-story double house with three barns adjoining belonging to George Barnum, the foundry and half of the machine shop belonging to C. H. Reid, all on Maple Avenue. The alarm was sounded while the firemen were still at work on the ruins of the first fire, which was about 500 feet distant. Both fires were in what is called the "Fire-bug District." The flames were started with the oily waste material that had been used in kindling all of the incendiary fires occurring during the past three years. The oil saturated waste was used abundantly between the barns and the box shop, and several of those first at the fire obtained handfuls of the stuff. Before the hose and steamers could be transferred from the first fire, the last one had gained great headway, and the firemen could only direct their efforts to the saving of clustered in the locality. In two hours the property was destroyed.

The losses are as follows: Green & Beebe, $15,000; C. H. Reid, $8,000; George Barnum, on house, $5,000, on barns and contents, $5,000. The total loss from the two fires will reach $70,000, on which the insurance is about $50,000. Shortly after the first blaze Officer Drumm arrested Fritz Real on suspicion. Real is known as an anarchist and some chemicals were found at his house. He is well educated, and is considered a little crazy. The excitement in the city has been intense all day. Crowds have visited the ruins. Should the incendiary be caught at his work, he would have been increased and patrolmen and watchmen are thickly scattered throughout the infested district.

The New York Times, New York, NY 22 Dec 1890