Springfield, MA Fire, Nov 1893

Big Fire at Springfield.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Nov. 22.---Fire broke out in the Worthington Street Block, owned by I. I. Dexter & Co., about 12:30 this morning, and that, with one adjoining, are burning. The firemen expect to hold the flames in these two buildings, although the result is in doubt.

Henry Dickinson is half owner in the two buildings, and in the rags which were stored in both. Although a brick partition separated them, the rags burned with such heat that the walls gave way.

The first structure burned was built four years ago, at a cost of $20,000, and was occupied by A. I. Leonard & Co., seeds men; the Stearns Paper Company, and the Graphic Company. The upper floors were stored with rags.

The second block was worth about $25,000. The first floor was occupied by the Union Cycle Company, and the rest by I. I. Dexter & Co. The third block, now threatened, is owned and occupied by James Dolan, also a rag dealer. The loss already amounts to $75,000.

The New York Times, New York, NY 22 Nov 1893




Seven Blocks in the Business Centre of the City in Ruins---Hotel Glendower in Ashes---Flames Finally Subdued with the Aid of Firemen from the Surrounding Towns---The Loss About One Million---Citizens Are Indignant.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Nov. 22.----The most destructive fire this city has known for years broke out shortly after midnight in the block owned by J. K. Dexter and Henry S. Dickinson, at 93 Worthington Street. The flames, when discovered, had gained considerable headway from the fact that the fire seemed to have started in the centre of the building some time before it appeared on the outside of the block, and the flames soon spread beyond the control of the firemen.

John Doolan's building next to the Dickinson Block, went next, and then the Mayo Block; the Abbe Block was then attacked, and soon the Hotel Glendower was completely surrounded by fire and speedily caught. The hotel burned rapidly, and at 4 A. M. its walls fell. The guest long before had packed their baggage and left the building. The attention of the department was then turned to saving the Fuller Block.

At 7 o'clock this morning the fire was finally under control, after raging over five hours. The final stand of the firemen on the north was in the Union Block and the Wight Block behind it. From the top of The Union Block streams were steadily played, and the fire was kept out, except from one room. When the walls of the Hotel Glendower fell it gave the firemen a chance to get into Worthington Street once more and play upon the side of The Union Block, as well as from the roof. The flames died hard, but when the end came they seemed to expire suddenly, and soon only clouds of steam and smoke poured out from windows that had emitted threatening seas of fire.

When the Worcester firemen reached the city the found only the smoking ruins of the seven blocks. They did not have to unload the engine. On the south the final stand was made at Fuller's Block, which was saved by a sudden favorable change in the wind, the same change that made it so difficult to save the Union Block. On the east the fire stopped with Webber's Block, and on the west at Main Street. Seven fine business blocks, including the Glendower Hotel, are in ruins. The burned district extends nearly 300 feet on Worthington Street, and is 100 feet deep, while the frontage of the two Main Street blocks is 200 feet.

Everything in this district is a mass of smoking ruins, upon which the Fire Department is still pouring twenty streams of water. The loss can be only roughly estimated as yet, but will be only roughly estimated as yet, but will in all probability reach nearly a million dollars. It is the most disastrous since the big blaze of 1875, and promises to equal that fire in total loss, thought the territory burned over is not so great. The blocks destroyed are:

On Worthington Street, five-story brick block owned by J. W. Webber, grocer; two five-story brick blocks owned by J. K. Dexter & Co., rag dealers; another of the same dimensions owned by John Doolan, rag dealer; a similar block to the east owned by A. N. Mayo & Co., paper stock dealers; the Glendower Hotel, a five-story brick block at the corner of Main and Worthington Streets, and Abbe's Block, a five-story brownstone front on main Street, adjoining the hotel. In addition to these, the fifth story of Worthington Street, was completely gutted, and the east rooms of The Union editorial rooms in the adjoining block were damaged by the fire breaking blocks were damaged by the fire breaking through the dividing walls. The Union Block, however, is sufficiently intact, so that the managers expect to issue the paper there as usual.

A question being asked on the streets to-day is, what delayed the United States Armory waterspout engine, which has always responded to a general alarm, and it is a question that Col. Mordecai, the present commander at the armory, will be called upon to answer to the citizens of Springfield. The general alarm was rung in at 1:15 and all of the regular department of the city not already on the scene responded promptly. This alarm is also the call fro the Government engine at the armory, the most effective piece of apparatus in the city, but for some reason the engine did not arrive. The delay was serious, for it was at the most critical time of the fire and it would have proved of great help to the department just at that time, as the out-of-town engines had no arrived and, furthermore, engine No. 2 had become disabled.

After a lapse of over an hour and a half the big Government engine arrived. It was just 2:50 when it reached the fire, and much valuable time had been lost. When the Government crew in charge of the engine were questioned ad to the cause of the delay they said they had awaited orders from the commandant before they could answer the call of the general alarm. The apparatus was in perfect order, and in a few moments after the ten strokes the engine was in readiness, but Col. Mordecai delayed giving the order. The total loss will reach well over $1,000,000.

The New York Times, New York, NY 23 Nov 1893



One of the Results of Our Recent Big Fire.

A meeting of the stockholders of the Graphic publishing company was held this week to consider the question of continuing the publication of the paper. In view of the fact that the whole plant was destroyed in the recent fire, and that there was some question as the advisability of attempting to replace it while the present business depression continues, it was decided not to publish the Graphic any longer and to wind up the company's affairs. The treasurer of the company, Fred L. Perry, was authorized to collect the company's accounts and pays its bills. The company will pay all its bills, dollar for dollar, and publication is stopped only because it was thought inadvisable to try to replace the plant at present. Many will regret the disappearance of this attractive weekly, which filled a place in local affairs. Its fine half-tone portraits of prominent people were a pleasing feature, and Editor Dwight's sketches were breezy and readable.

Springfield Daily Republican, Springfield, MA 8 Dec 1893