Washington Court House, OH Much Of Town Destroyed, Dec 1911

WASHINGTON C. H. WILL REBUILD STRUCTURE DESTROYED BY BLAZE.

LOSS FROM SATURDAY NIGHT FIRE WILL REACH HALF MILLION DOLLARS.
INSURANCE AMOUNTS TO ABOUT $300,000.

BLAZE STARTED FROM DEFECTIVE ELECTRIC WIRE.

FIRE RAGED DURING HEAVY DOWNPOUR OF RAIN -- FIRE DEPARTMENTS AT COLUMBUS AND WILMINGTON LEND AID TO AFFLICTED CITY -- WORST FIRE IN TOWN'S HISTORY.

Washington C. H., Jan. 1. -- Thousands of visitors from all over Fayette and other counties Sunday saw the ruin made by Saturday night's fire, the worst in the history of this city, and watched the walls of the burned buildings fall into the debris as the high wind drove them down. For safety, the city firemen kept streams of water playing on the ruins all day, as the smouldering fire, fanned by the winds, occasionally burst into flames, and menaced buildings not destroyed Saturday night.
The KATZ block, opposite the Masonic Temple, was in especial danger. Late in the night the the [sic] building caught fire from sparks blown from the temple and was saved by hard work.
The loss, as conservatively estimated, is $422,300, and many persons declare this figure is much too low. There are a few losses not tabulated, and there is omitted from the list damage suffered by owners of buildings near the burned district, who will have to replace costly plate glass ruined by the heat.
Several attorneys lost in valuable records and books, which cannot be replaced, and which, by their nature, are of much greater worth than their insured value. Mayor R. G. ALLEN, whose law office was destroyed, succeeded at personal risk, in saving the city's records, when the JUDY Block burned. He was one of the hardest workers in helping to put out the fire.
But for the heavy rain it is believed the fire would have been much more destructive that it was. It is certain that without the splendid aid given by the fire departments of Columbus, Wilmington and Greenfield, the local company would not have been able to cope with the flames. Citizens today were full of praises for both the visitors and the home volunteers.
Through direction of Mayor ALLEN, who also is major of the Fourth regiment, O. N. G., Company B of that regiment, composed of local men and commanded by Captain HOWARD ALLEN, remained on guard duty from Saturday midnight until Sunday evening.
JAMES ALLEN, volunteer fireman, who was injured, will recover. He suffered a broken leg and internal injuries. W. T. HOLMES, head bookkeeper of the Stutson department store, it developed, had a narrow escape from death in rescuing the store's books and money. In the face of the flame he entered the store. He was badly burned about the face and neck.
The Masonic order will rebuild at once. The structure contemplated will be the third one for the lodge. Twelve years ago its home was destroyed by fire. The members of the order met yesterday afternoon and made emergency arrangements. The Knights of Pythias, Elks, Pythian Sisters and Eastern Star lodges, which occupied rented quarters, will have to arrange for new homes. All of the orders must buy new paraphernalia and furniture.

The Newark Advocate Ohio 1912-01-01