Croghan, NY Fire, Apr 1912

Ruins of the Central Hotel, Croghan, New York Apr 1912


Mother Tries in Vain to Save Little Ones From the Flames.


Stores, Factories and Mills Consumed by Blaze - Fire Is Swept by Strong Wind and Flames Spread Rapidly Through the Village.

Croghan, May 1. -- The death of two children and a property loss estimated as high as $600,000, but generally considered to be between $400,000 and $500,000, have resulted from a fire that devastated this village last night. Thirty-two buildings were wiped out and all that to-day remains of the business section of the village is a grocery store, a hardware store, a harness shop, a millinery shop and three hotels.

Mills, factories, business blocks and residences on the main thoroughfare were caught in the grip of the flames and although the local fire department had the assistance of the Lowville companies, the fire took toll heavily of the property after the deaths of the children.

The victims of the flames were ANGELINE GROUNERT, aged 3, and MILTON GROUNERT, aged 1, children of MR. And MRS. CLEMENT GROUNERT in whose business block the fire started. MRS. GROUNERT was badly burned in trying to save her children and the shock of their death has been so great that the mother is to-day under the care of a physician.

Wind Carries Fire Along.
The fire started at 2:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon and was swept along by a strong wind. It raged through Main street and into some of the tributary thoroughfares for nearly eight hours when the combined efforts of the local companies and the assistance from outside stemmed its further advance.

The fire had its origin in a back yard bonfire that was permitted to get into the GROUNERT building from the rear. The upper floors of the building were used for residence purposes, GROUNERT'S cafe being on the street floor. Apprised of the fire only when the flames broke out and smoke poured in, MRS. GROUNERT made desperate efforts to reach the second-story room where her little ones were sleeping. She was badly burned and, finally overcome from the smoke, was carried out of the building. FRANK LYNDACHER of Beaver Falls groped his way through the blinding smoke and fierce flames and took the children from the room. They died almost immediately.

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