Phoenix, NY Town Conflagration, Sep 1916
PHOENIX SWEPT BY WORST CONFLAGRATION IN HISTORY; LOSS MORE THAN $500,000.
MILL LAND BUSINESS SECTION DESTROYED; COMMUNICATION CUT OFF.
FIRE STARTS IN CHAIR FACTORY, SPREADS TO PUMP WORKS AND FIRE FIGHTERS ARE HELPLESS.
HELP IS SENT FROM SYRACUSE.
FIRE STILL SPREADING AT EARLY HOUR THIS MORNING -- TWENTY BUILDINGS IN FLAMES AT ONE TIME.
The village of Phoenix, 1,600 in population, sixteen miles from Syracuse on the way to Oswego, stands to sustain a fire loss estimated at more than half a million dollars, and probably one life, with its business district in flames from 11 o'clock last night until an early hour this morning.
Four squares were practically razed by the flames, which first destroyed the fire fighting pumps on which the village relied.
Aged Man Accounted Missing.
JOHN GOODWIN, an aged man, last seen walking into the Parker factory, one of a score of buildings burned, is accounted missing at last reports. DR. E. J. DRURY sustained a fracture of one arm in efforts against the fire. Several firemen are burned about the face and arms.
Phoenix in darkness save for lurid light from fire eating its way from the business into the home section of the village, powerless to fight from the first because of the destruction of pumping station equipment, was gripped in the mercy of flame and wind, and cut off from wire communication with the outside world at midnight.
Twenty buildings blazed at once, mills, bank, warehouses, business blocks, factories. An alarm went out to Syracuse and cities and villages in every direction while wire communication held.
Village Faces Staggering Damage.
But from the first the village faced staggering damage, if not destruction.
Revised estimates of the loss in excess of $500,000 apportion it between the Duffy Silk mill, $150,000, partly insured; C. E. HUTCHINSON block, $25,000; CORNELIA DEAN estate, $30,000. Accurate estimates of other losses, covering the postoffice, the Baptist church, four hotels, the HAWKES home, a beautiful stone residence, and numerous business properties, have not been compiled.
Starting in the Canal and Bridge street section, the fire jumped from the Sinclair Chair factory, first attacked, to the Duffy Silk mill, next door, owned in part by ABRAHAM F. NELLIS of Syracuse, and valued at $150,000.
Destroying entirely as it went, it went on as a moving wall to the SWEET Brothers Paper mill adjoining the silk mill on the west bank of the Oswego canal.
Leaping the canal the flames fed avidly on the J. H. LOOMIS Lumber and Planing mill. From the rear, on the canal, it spread to the front, jumped across the street and enveloped the two-story brick building used as the Phoenix National bank.
Buildings Destroyed in Phoenix Fire at Early Hour This Morning.
Leaping from building to building, across the canal and from one side of Canal street to the other, the flames destroyed nearly every building in the business section of the village. The buildings destroyed were:
The SINCLAIR Chair factory, on west bank of the canal.
The DUFFY Silk mill next door.
SWEET Brothers' Paper mill, next door to the silk mill.
J. H. LOOMIS lumber yard and planing mill, across the canal.
The Phoenix Bank building on Canal street, two-story brick.
The HUTCHINSON block, across the street from the bank at Bridge and Canal streets. (Included in the HUTCHINSON block were BENSON'S meat market, KELLAR'S drug store, and the BABCOCK store.)
The BETTS block, frame budding near canal, across from LOOMIS planing mill.
DR. E. J. DRURY'S office and home.
BURROUGH Paper mill.
GIFFORD'S grocery store next to DR. DRURY'S dwelling.
Two large storehouses, each 150 feet long and 75 feet wide, on west of canal.
The Phoenix Electric Light and Power plant. Three-story brick building.
PIERCE & PENDERGAST Grist mill a building 70 by 80 feet, and 70 feet high.
M. C. RYAN'S hardware factory.
All the hotels in the village were destroyed including the Windsor hotel, the Phoenix hotel, the Tivoli hotel and the Howard house.
Six private residences.
A.C. PARKER'S feed mill.
The Syracuse Herald New York 1916-09-24