Quincy, IL Stable Fire, Nov 1870

Incendiary Fire.

Yesterday afternoon, about two o’clock, the fire bells again sounded the alarm caused this time by the burning of a large brick and frame stable belonging to Mr. Wm. Konantz, situated on the alley between Spring and Oak and Ninth and Tenth streets. This is third or fourth time this stable has been fired within the last ten days, mention of several attempts having been chronicled by us. We learn that a special watch has been kept upon this property for some days past but the wily incendiary has finally succeeded in its destruction.

The prompt response of the fire department saved a large amount of the property in the vicinity of the burning stable; among others, Mr. Letton’s, Mr. Vibert’s and Mrs. Elizabeth Oeink’s, - the latter’s dwelling house was several times on fire. The stable of Mr. Konantz contained a lot of household furniture, books, paintings, etc., belonging to Mr. Rankin Ash, which had been stored there for safety during the absence of Mr. A., nearly all of which was removed in damaged condition. There was a small amount of hay and grain consumed with the building, the property of Mr. A. R. Newcomb, who resides in Mr. Konantz’s dwelling house upon the same lot with the stable.
The property destroyed was valued at about $350 and was insured in the State of Chicago, for $200, Messrs. Parker & Bull, agents in this city.

The frequent occurrence of incendiary fires in broad day light, and the fact that they are generally confined to stables situated on alleys and of easy access, has led many to believe that some evil disposed or thoughtless boys are at the bottom of it. The particulars regarding yesterday’s fire would go to prove that such surmises are correct.
We are informed that a couple of very small children – probably between six and seven years of age, and whose names we withhold – ran down to Mr. Alexander’s store, near the corner of Broadway and Ninth streets, and gave the alarm in this instance. They stated that they saw the boy who set fire to the stable come out of the building with matches in his hand and run up the alley, and that a moment afterwards the fire broke out; then they gave the alarm. Upon being closely questioned, they were unable to either describe the boy or admit they could identity him if he was shown to them. In fact, they were only certain they saw a “big boy,” whom they did not know, run out of the stable with matches in his hand and then saw that the stable was on fire. We may add, that suspicion points to a certain boy, about 15 years of age, who it is thought is the one who has caused all the recent barn burning in our city. It is hoped that the culprit, whoever he may be, will no longer remain in obscurity.

Quincy Whig, Quincy, IL 17 Nov 1870