Decatur, IL Commercial District Fire, Aug 1909
FIRE LOSS A MILLION.
DECATUR, ILL., VISITED BY DESTRUCTIVE FIRE.
OVER A SCORE OF THE LEADING BUSINESS HOUSES BURNED IN THE COMMERCIAL DISTRICT.
WATER SUPPLY IS EXHAUSTED AND FAMINE FOLLOWS THE FIRE -- HOTEL GUESTS IN PANIC -- FALLING WALLS COVER UP FIRE HOSE.
Decatur, Ill., Aug. 22. -- Fire today destroyed a block of buildings, causing a loss estimated at $1,000,000. Following the fire Decatur faced a water famine. It became necessary this afternoon to shut off the residence districts, the supply of water in the reservoir being low.
While the fire was in progress a blaze was discovered in the engine room of the Decatur hotel, situated a half block west of the district that was being destroyed. There was a panic among the guests, who realized that the firemen had a bigger job on their hands than they could handle, but prompt work by the hotel people extinguished the flames.
In response to a call for help Springfield sent an engine and fire crew, and this gave the city four engines with which to fight the flames. The department was crippled by falling walls covering several hundred feet of hose.
The following buildings, together with their stock of goods, were destroyed:
MOOREHOUSE & WELLS Hardware company.
HENRY BACHRACH, clothing.
JOHN SPOTTS, cigar dealer.
SAM'S confectionery store.
City Book store.
DICK'S pool room.
DANZIESEN'S meat market.
Peerless Cold Drink parlor.
White Front pool room.
Union Pacific Tea company.
MUNRO'S soft drink parlor.
ROGGERS & CLARK, shoe store.
F. H. COLE Shoe company.
SHADE LOKEY shoe store.
YOUNG'S clothing store.
P. AUGUSTINE, optical store.
E. W. ARMSTRONG, drug store.
G. W. HARRIS, hat store.
POST jewelry store.
ELWOOD & HANDLIN clothing.
CHODAT book store.
RALPH & YOUNG, shoe store.
These buildings face on East Main street, Merchant street and Water street, and are in the very heart of the business district.
MOOREHOUSE & WELLS, in whose building the fire started, occupied a modern six-story building. THeir loss is complete and is estimated tonight at $300,000. Other losses range from $10,000 to $70,000.
The work of rebuilding the burned district will begin at once.
The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette Indiana 1909-08-23