Springfield, OH Lagonda Hotel Fire, Oct 1895

Springfield, Ohio, Fire Visited

Lagonda Hotel Destroyed and Many Interests Suffered-A Loss of About $170,000, Only Partly Insured.

Springfield, Ohio, Oct. 30.-Springfield was visited at midnight by one of the most disastrous fires in its history.

The Lagonda Hotel Building was entirely consumed as the result. The building occupied half of the principal business block of the city, the hotel fronting on High and Limestone Streets.

The blaze originated in the kitchen of the hotel about 12 o’clock and burned about four hours. It spread rapidly in spite of the Fire Department’s efforts, and the Dayton Fire Department was called on for assistance.

In a short time the fire had spread to every part of the hotel, and it was with great difficulty that the guests were aroused. There were numerous thrilling escapes. Mrs. Connell and Mrs. Thompson, wife and daughter of the proprietor, escaped from an upper floor by means of a rear stairway just as the latter fell. They had endeavored to save some personal property. Another inmate was saved by coming down a Fire Department ladder which was hoisted to his window, several stories. He came down in his night clothes. His name could not be learned. Samuel Dodge, a Little Miami Railway employee, and Trainmaster Murphy of the Big Four escaped at the last minute through smoke and flames, and were singed considerably.

After a half hour’s battle with the fire fiend, the Springfield Fire Department found that the blaze was getting the best of it, and it telephoned to Dayton and Columbus for assistance. Three hose wagons, 3,000 feet of hose, and twenty firemen were sent from Dayton on a special Big Four train, consisting of an engine, two flat cars, and a caboose. The run of twenty-four miles was made in twenty-two and a half minutes. The Dayton Fire Department aided greatly in preventing the half of the block other than that occupied by the hotel property from being destroyed. The Lagonda Hotel building was totally destroyed, being gutted from top to bottom. The roof fell in.

The building was a five-story structure, and was the finest hostelry in the city. It was owned by John W. Bookwalter of New-York City, once a citizen of Springfield and a candidate for Governor against ex-Gov. Foster when the latter first ran for the office. The loss on the building and contents is estimated at $100,000, partially insured. It was the headquarters of the late Democratic State Convention.

On the street fronts were storerooms which contained some of the principal stores in the city. The Western Union and Postal Telegraph Companies’ offices were situated there and were totally burned out, thus cutting off telegraphic communication and doing about $10,000 damage.

Other losses are: Siegthaler, drug store, stock totally destroyed, $10,000; Marceleict, jewelry store, $20,000; H.C. Harris, cigar store, $2,500; London Clothing Store, $15,000; Heison’s Furnishings store, $2,500; Craig Millinery store, $2,500.

All of the stores carried some insurance, but not enough to cover all the losses.

The New York Times, New York, NY 31 Oct 1895