Boston, MA India Wharf Fire, Mar 1955

Fire Sweeps Old Boston Wharf

Probe Under Way By Arson Squad

BOSTON (AP)--A spectacular fire early today swept 500-foot long historic India Wharf levelling[sic] several business establishments and damaging the wharf pilings and deck.

At the height of the blaze Deputy Fire Chief William Terrenzi called it the "most serious waterfront blaze in 30 years."

Other fire officials agreed with him that it was the most spectacular waterfront fire many of them had seen--but not the most damaging.

Officials estimated damage at $100,000 and called in the arson squad to determine its cause.

Some 300 firefighters battled the blaze from the street side with miles of hose-lines while the Boston fire boat and Coast Guard and Navy vessels poured tons of sea water from the wharf's water sides.

The fire still blazed nearly four hours after it broke out but Fire Chief John V. Stapleton--who went to the scene from his father's wake--said it was contained on the wharf.

One of the first of more than a dozen two-story wooden business and fish dealers' structures to be swept by the flames was that of the Fulton Box Co.

Workers saved eight company trucks before they fled for their lives from the path of the roaring flames.

Other structures destroyed included those housing the Marks Dispatch Co., the Diamond Motor Transportation Co. and the Buchanan Transport Co., all trucking concerns.

At least one machine shop, a live lobster concern and some fish dealers' places also were destroyed.

Portsmouth Herald, Portsmouth, NH 3 Mar 1955