Claremont, NH Browns Block Fire, Mar 1887


CLAREMONT, N. H., March 26.---Early this morning fire was discovered in Brown's Block. The building was owned by Oscar J. Brown, and was very largely occupied by business firms, to a greater extent than any other in this State. The Post Office, telegraph office, Central Telephone Exchange, and express office were all in the building, while numerous rooms were occupied by Masonic and other lodges. The loss will reach $50,000, with an insurance of $28,000. When the fire was discovered the whole building was filled with smoke, rendering all attempts to remove the stock futile. Michael Reynolds, the night operator in the telephone office, was asleep when the fire broke out, and was awakened by the smoke. He jumped from a second-story window of the building into the street and it is believed, escaped uninjured. George Judkins and his wife and son, who occupied the upper portion of the building, barely escaped suffocation. They lost all their household goods. In the Post Office a small quantity of local mail matter, thousands of postal cards, and much of the furniture were destroyed. George Taylor, while attempting, with four other firemen, to run the steam fire engine down a steep hill fell under one of the wheels and had an arm and let broken. He also received internal injuries which may prove fatal. He is 40 years old, and has a wife and child. The recent acquisition by the town of the steam fire engine undoubtedly prevented an extensive conflagration.

The New York Times, New York, NY 27 Mar 1887