Chicago, IL Street Car Barn Fire, Dec 1901

Fire Destroys One Hundred and Sixty Chicago Street Cars

Chicago, Dec. 15.-The total destruction of the Lincoln avenue car barns of the Chicago Traction company, with more than one hundred and sixty street car, resulted from a fire that was discovered at an early hour this morning. Beside the building nearly all the grip cars and trailers used on the Lincoln avenue line were destroyed. The intense cold of the past two days contributed much to the spread of the flames, as the fire hydrants in the vicinity were found to be frozen.

The cold also made it necessary to work the men in shifts, exhausted workers being relieved by comrades, who had short rests in neighboring stores, which were thrown open to the fire fighters.

The heavy east wall of the building fell across Sheffield Avenue and flying bricks demolished the front of a saloon opposite. The flames also communicated to a frame dwelling next to the saloon, but his blaze was quickly subdues with small loss. The saloon was damaged to the extent of $2,000.

A serious danger to the firemen was from the broken trolley wires, which were charged with electricity.

President John M. Roach, of the Traction Company, placed the loss at about $120,000, partly covered by insurance, but the exact amount he was unable to state. It is supposed the fire originated from an overheated stove in one of the cars that were in the barn.

The Duluth News Tribune, Duluth, MN 16 Dec 1901