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Rossiter, PA Fire, Apr 1910

Fire of unknown origin visited Rossiter early this morning, and before it burned itself out destroyed 12 buildings and caused heavy damage to the Hotel Brandon, owned by M. S. Murray.

The flames originated in Nathan's clothing store on Central street in the heart of the business section of the town.

Workmen passing along the street about 2:30 o'clock discovered the fire and gave an alarm. Whistles were blown and bells ere rung, and soon practically the entire population of 2,000 people were on the scene.

Rossiter is without adequate fire protection. There is no organized fire-fighting department, so that the only method of fighting the flames was by the forming of bucket lines. The citizens went to work with a will, but it was soon found that the water supply was not sufficient to cope with the devouring flames.

The Nathan building burned fiercely and the adjoining structures were soon ablaze. Frank Farro's building, Berkenstein's clothing store and Sanders' confectionary store were speedily destroyed with all their contents. Berkenstein and Sanders lived in apartments over their stores and all their household goods were burned.

Paul Miller's grocery store was the next to go, including household effects as Miller and his family lived in the building.

Farro's dwelling, across the street from his store, caught fire and was burned, as was also the dwelling of Thomas Lynch adjoining. Lynch saved part of his furniture.

Peter Fellen's bakery was next to go, the flames communicated with three dwellings owned by some Italians and these were destroyed. A barber shop and a racket store in this block were wiped out.

Working valiantly, despite the great odds against them, the volunteer firemen, choked and blinded with smoke, seemed fired with new zeal when it was announced that the Hotel Brandon, owned by M. S. Murray, was on fire.

Ladders were raised to the roof and men with axes soon made an opening through to the attic. Water was poured in, several daring souls ventured under the roof thinking they could work to better the purpose there. The smoke was so dense that three of these were overcome and were taken out apparently suffocated. They were: Jacob Frantz, Peter Jeager and Harry Frantz. They were rolled on the ground and other restorative measures were resorted to. Jeager was hit on the head by a falling bucket and sustaining and ugly scalp would. Both he and Harry Frantz responded to treatment and recovered consciousness, but at 11 o'clock this morning Jacob Frantz was still unconscious.

The hotel building was saved but is seriously damaged, the flames, water and smoke having wrought havoc with the interior.

At 6 o'clock the fire had reached a street corner where it was checked, and the smouldering ruins are slowly burning themselves out.

No estimate of the amount of the loss or the insurance had been made at last reports but the loss will be very heavy.

Indiana Evening Gazette, Indiana, PA 29 Apr 1910

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