Huntington, Long Island, NY Town Fire, Sept 1888

A MIDNIGHT FIRE.

THE WORST CONFLAGRATION EVER KNOWN IN SUFFOLK COUNTY.

Huntington, Long Island, Sept. 12. -- Early this morning fire destroyed the group of wooden buildings in this village known as Brush's Corner. Here were situated a very large general store kept by H. S. & J. M. BRUSH & Co., the Huntington Bank, the Post Office, the telegraph office, the office of County Judge THOMAS YOUNG, GRUMANN Brothers stationery store, G. F. BURR'S jewelry store, two blacksmiths shops, a paint shop, EBENEZER JARVIS'S carriage factory, and the Second Presbyterian Church. All were destroyed, and nothing remains but cellar walls and smoking cinders. The loss is about $75,000, and the insurance $30,000. This is a very severe blow to the little town, and there has been little business transacted here today. The bank safe was a good one, and the $5,000 in cash and $10,000 in securities therein were taken out unscorched. Judge YOUNG saved his official papers, has lost a two thousand dollar library. Postmaster CHARLES R. STREET also lost his library.
Two young men returning from a wedding reception about 12:30 A.M. saw smoke issuing from the Post Office windows. A prompt alarm was given, but the flames spread so rapidly that the family of J. M. BRUSH, who occupied rear apartments on the floor above, had barely time to escape. In three hours the buildings were a heap of ruins, the town's truck, hose cart, and hand engine being unable to cope with so big a fire. The volunteers made a plucky fight for the church and prevented the flames from going beyond. No outside aid was asked or received. The origin of the fire is a mystery.
The losses and insurance are divided as follows:
H. S. & J. M. BRUSH & Co., buildings and stock, $35,000; insurance, $16,000.
Second Presbyterian Church, $18,000; insurance, $10,000.
G. M. TILESTON, on building, $1,500; insurance, $1,000.
GRUMANN Brothers, $2,500; insurance, $1,500.
G. F. BURT, $2,600; insurance, $1,000.
TIMOTHY SOUDDER, carriage painter, $2,000; no insurance.
The others who suffered loss from $250 to $400 apiece and were not insured. Both business blocks were two stories high, and each was but a series of additions. BRUSH'S store was the largest in the county and sold everything from coal to cotton cloth. The Presbyterians had just expended $2,000 in decorating their church. The bank will resume business in temporary offices tomorrow.
The fire is the most disastrous that has ever occurred in Suffolk County, and the villagers do not seem to know the extent of their losses. The losers are courageous and will probably rebuild at once. But very little was saved except from the harness and carriage shops. The only accident occurred in the church, the heavy central chandelier falling from the ceiling directly into a group of young men. WILLIAM PRIMO was struck by it and seriously stunned.

The New York Times New York 1888-09-13