Savannah, GA Fire, Feb 1894


A Savannah Fire Causes a Loss of $370,000 - Insurance $314,900.

SAVANNAH, Ga., Feb. 5. - The Savannah Grocery Company and M. Ferst's Sons & Co., wholesale grocers, and the Wilcox & Gibbs Guano Company, manufacturers of fertilizers, occupying nearly an entire block of five-story buildings on Bay Street, in the heart of the wholesale section of the city, were burned out to-day, and other property suffered heavy damages.

M. Ferst's Sons & Co. are the heaviest losers. Their loss on grocery stock is $150,000. The Savannah Grocery Company's loss on stock is $130,000. The loss on Wilcox & Gibbs Guano Company's grocery buildings is $75,000' on the guano company's stock and buildings, $15,000, making the total loss $370,000.

The insurance is as follows: Savannah Grocery Company, $125,000; M. Ferst's Sons & Co. $129,800; the Wilcox & Gibbs Guano Company, insurance on buildings $57,500; on stock of fertilizers, $12,600, making a total of $314,900.

The fire originated in a shed in the rear of the grocery building used for the storage of salt, immediately adjoining the shed of the guano company, where a lot of sacking was stored. The fire swept into the buildings, carried by a strong wind. So rapid was its advance that, athough the fire began in the extreme rear of the grocery company's building, the occupants barely had time to escape with their lives, and it was possible to save nothing except a few of the most valuable papers.

The only casualty was the injury of William Tilton, a spectator, who was riding on a fire truck and was injured in jumping off. The fire burned three hours, and its fierceness threatened the City Hall, one of Savannah's most venerable buildings, and all the city records were removed and placed in the banks until the fire was subdued.

The New York Times, New York, NY 6 Feb 1894