Dover, NH City Hall Fire, Aug 1933

Dover, NH City Hall 1906



Aid Summoned From Portsmouth, Somersworth, Rochester And Berwick

Dover city hall was destroyed by fire early today with a loss estimated at $100,000. The fire broke out shortly after 3 a.m. and at daybreak a few crumbling wall were all that remained of the building. Unofficially it was believed the fire was started by spontaneous combustion. Most of the valuable records and other contents of the hall were lost. A few papers from the offices nearest the exits were saved however. Aid was called from Portsmouth, Rochester. Farmington, Somersworth and Berwick, Me., but there was little danger of the flames spreading to nearby buildings. There was little wind and the fire was easily confined to the building which was of brick four stories tall and had been built 41 years ago. It housed all the city offices, and an auditorium with a seating capacity of 1200. An 80 foot tower topped by a large clock formed one of the corners of the building. A part of the building served as police headquarters and the city jail and at the start of the blaze 16 prisoners were released. Twelve were vagrants and four were confined for minor offences.

Temporary police headquarters have been established at the store of Frank Davis on Locust street and all prisoners will be housed at the county farm.

The flames were first seen when they broke through the roof of the building over the Opera house. Chief Nash of the Dover fire department said that the fire must have been burning in the walls for some time as immediately after it broke through the roof the flames seemed to immediately spread throughout the entire building.

The building was erected in 1892 at a total cost of $225,000.

Portsmouth Herald, Portsmouth, NH 3 Aug 1933



Concord, Aug. 3.---Assistance of the State Public Works office in any plan for the rebuilding of its city hall, destroyed by fire this morning, was offered the city of Dover today by Harold J. Lockwood, state engineer and member of the Federal Advisory board for publi[illegible] the national recovery administration.

Portsmouth Herald, Portsmouth, NH 3 Aug 1933