Danbury, CT Fire, Jun 1888



DANBURY, Conn., June 18.---Danbury was to-day the scene of one of the most extensive conflagrations ever known in Connecticut. The total loss is probably $125,000, but it is yet impossible to obtain accurate figures. Though now under control the fire is still burning, with a possibility of spreading during the night should the wind rise. The local Fire Department is making a most desperate flight. Several men have been forced to leave the scene from prostration on account of the intense heat. The fire started shortly after 3 P.M. in the business centre of the town in Armstrong & Co.'s box shop in Canal-street. In less than an hour 10 or more buildings, besides lumber yards, numerous outbuildings, and small shops, were enveloped in flames. The field of the fire covers more than 20 acres. So great was the heat that it was impossible for the firemen to get to work until several buildings were beyond saving. Armstrong & Co's shop was soon in ruins, and for two hours the situation was rendered more perilous by low pressure on the hydrants. The flames spread to R. A. Belden & Co.'s machine shop, a long, three-story structure, communicating to J. T. Bates's lumber yards, on the opposite side of Canal-street. These yards were filled with lumber, which was entirely burned. The fire also attacked Meeker's grain, was quickly consumed. An adjoining building known as the sewing machine shop next fell. Then Osborne's lumber yards and coal sheds, Chichester's barn and several smaller buildings were swept by the flames and in nearly all cases completely destroyed. The fire crept along the track of the Housatonic Railroad and burned the ties for a quarter of a mile, also the station, and the freight sheds of both the New-England and Housatonic Roads narrowly escaped. The wires of the Western Union Telegraph Company were burned out. The origin of the fire is unknown.

The New York Times, New York, NY 19 Jun 1888