Williamstown, MA Williams College Fire, Dec 1915

FIRE AT WILLIAMS COLLEGE.

THOMPSON CHEMICAL LABORATORY DESTROYED, WITH $100,000 LOSS.

Williamstown, Mass., Dec. 7. -- Fire early today destroyed the Thompson chemical laboratory of Williams College, a three-story brick structure, loss of which is estimated at $100,000. BRAINERD MEARS, assistant professor of chemistry, and CORNELIUS BROWN, an assistant, were asleep on the third floor, but they escaped.
The fire started in a workroom on the first floor from spontaneous combustion, according to the college authorities, and quickly spread through the building. A library, metals, and also chemicals, which, it is said, cannot be replaced on account of the war, were destroyed.
There was a two-hundred-pound tank of chlorine gas in the basement, and extraordinary precautions were taken to protect this from danger of an explosion. It was saved. College officials said it would be necessary to suspend the chemical course temporarily.

The New York Times New York 1915-12-08