Arnot, PA Fire, May 1884

Williamsport, PA., May 3.-- The latest reports here show the forest fires at various places have been extensive, and very destructive. ... Seventeen houses were burned in Arnot, entailing an additional loss of $15,000. Two million feet of lumber also burned.

Evening Observer, Dunkirk, NY, 5 May 1884


Arnot is built on the outskirts of an immense tract of timber-land belonging to the Blossburg Coal company, and it is estimated that 25,000 acres of the Company's timber were burned over. In the immediate vicinity of Arnot workmen were employed for several days in fighting the fires which encroached upon the town. The woods hug the place close on every side, and on Friday when the heavy southwest wind drove the volume of smoke and cinders across the clearing it was thought that the village was doomed to destruction at once. A house near what is known as North drift was the first to take fire. The steam fire engine with which the town is provided was brought into action but proved of little service in the fierce gale and extreme heat. Seventeen houses, occupied by twenty-two families, were burned and the occupants saved little besides the clothing on their backs. Their losses will amount to $250 or $300 for each family, while the loss of the buildings to the Company will approximate $6,000. The plane was also burned, entailing a loss of about $8,000. A number of families went to Blossburg, where the kind hearted citizens cared for them. A dispatch was sent to Elmira calling for help, and a steamer and a detachment of firemen were sent by special train to aid in subduing the fires at Arnot. Towards the night the wind subsided and all danger was past.

Three miles below Arnot is a switch where hemlock bark is loaded upon the cars. Here over two million feet of hemlock and pine logs were destroyed, besides six dwelling houses and a quantity of bark. This amounts to a loss of $10,000 to the Blossburg Coal Company. There was no insurance upon any of their property. At Landrus the saw-mill, the largest one in the county, and ten million feet of logs, and sawed lumber were saved by the energetic efforts of workmen, although the fires were burning all about and extending over the wooded hills of Morris township.

..... Chief Engineer R. H. Walker, of the Elmira Fire Department, was in the borough, and he went to Antrim on the special train and then drove across to join his men at Arnot. He said the fires were burning on every hand, and many times he was forced to wrap his coat about his face and whip his horse into a run as he dashed though the burning brush. He reported numerous houses and barns along the road in ruins.

The Wellsboro Agitator, Wellsboro, PA, 6 May 1884