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Rolla, Missouri

VanFrank's Furniture Store Fire

September 21, 1891

A GREAT FIRE

P. R. VanFrank's Furniture Store Utterly Destroyed by Fire on Monday Night Last. Other Buildings Scorched.


About nine o'clock of Monday evening the fire alarm rang out on the startled ear of approaching night and the people of Rolla rushed to the city hall to find out where the fire was. It was soon located as being in VAN FRANK'S FURNITURE STORE.

The Fire Company and citizens made strenuous efforts to subdue it before it had any headway, but everything was too dry and burned with too great rapidity for them to do much and in a short time it was seen that the building and contents were doomed to destruction. The fire spread with great rapidity licking up the inflamable [sic] building and contents as so much tinder. The heat was very great but there was hardly any air stirring and the flames leaped heavenward. The heat was so intense that it set fire to the old CAMPBELL shanty on the south side of the street burning the north front somewhat: after some hard work it was put out. The fire also spread to GEO. RUFFING'S house and shop and partially destroyed the main building before it could be subdued by the joint efforts of the two engines and a bucket brigade.
GEO. W. SMITH'S jewelry store also took fire in several places and it took hard work for the fire company to save this, but it was done. All the surrounding buildings had to be watched and deluged with water to prevent them from taking fire, and Rolla is extremely fortunate that it did no greater damage than it did. The origin of the fire is unknown but is supposed to be the work of an incendiary.

THE LOSSES.

The losses are about as follows:
P. R. VAN FRANK, stock of furniture $4,000; insurance, $2,400, some furniture saved, loss probably $1,000.
MRS. JULIUS PETZOLD,
building insured for $4,000, its full value, a total loss.
WM. LEPPER,
damage to building, about $200; fully covered by insurance.
GEO. WM. SMITH,
building damaged, and stock damaged badly, to the amount of $1,000, so MR. SMITH claims; no insurance.
The MISSES GRATZMILLER, damage to building, $25; to goods and furniture by moving, $100; fully insured.
R. E. HOARE,
tailor, loss to goods by moving about, $40; no insurance.
MRS. S. R. ROWE,
damage to building, $5; fully insured.
DR. T. J. JONES,
guardian, damage to building, $25; insured for $4,000.
NEW MASONIC BUILDING, damage to window glass, etc., $20; covered by insurance.
E. STERN,
damaged produce, hides, etc., by moving $25; insured.
CHAS. ROEHM.
Damage to building, $20; insured.
GEO. W. RUFFING,
damage to building and contents, $350; insured for $750.
TAYLOR MURRAY,
damage to furniture, etc., $40; no insurance.
JOS. CAMPBELL,
lord mayor of Rolla, a charred front, and a gentle reminder that such a rookery is not the kind of property, the mayor of a progressive town like Rolla should maintain as an eyesore to the town that he is the executive officer of.

The Rolla New Era Missouri 1891-09-26

Submitted & transcribed by Stu Beitler  Thank you, Stu!

       

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