Ridgefield, CT Fire, Dec 1895

BUSINESS DISTRICT IN FLAMES

Disastrous Fire Prevails in the Town of Ridgefield, Conn.---Buildings in Rutherford Burning.

RIDGEFIELD, Conn., Dec 8.----The business district of this town is threatened with destruction by fire. The fire originated to-night in the big wooden block owned by G. S. Gage, situated on Main Street. The building was surrounded on all sides by other wooden structures and the flames found plenty of material upon which to feed.

Bediend & Mead were soon burned out and the Western Union office was also ruined. By 11 o'clock the flames had consumed the Gage Block and fifteen minutes later the fire attacked the Town Hall on the opposite side of Bailey Avenue. Adjacent to the Gage Block was a small frame building in which was situated the Western Union Telegraph office. Then came the grocery of Barhite & Valden and a few residences. These buildings were burned before 11 o'clock.

On Bailey Avenue, to the west and rear of the Gage Block, were a plumbing shop and a row of wooden buildings recently built. These were all burned. On Bailey Avenue is also Scott's stable, a big new wooden building, and this was destroyed.

New Haven, Conn., Dec. 9.---Communication with Ridgefield has been cut off by the fire there. The Ridgefield Press building, it is thought, has been burned. Help was sent from Danbury.

Up to 12:30 Monday morning the fire had burned out the following business houses: Rutherford National Bank, in the McMain Building, in which the fire started; Bookstaver's real estate office, the Western Union Telegraph office, Vorwald & Prince's shoe store, T. Noden's stationery store, and a fruit kept by an Italian. The losses on these were as follows: National bank, $20,000; Vorwald & Prince, $4,000; Noden, $2,500; Eagle Shoe Store, $1,000; fruit store, $500. The upper floors of the McMain Building were used as flats. There were fifteen of them, and all were occupied by German families. All the tenants escaped from the building. Nothing was saved from any of the upper floors. The building was valued at $35,000.

The New York Times, New York, NY 9 Dec 1895