Providence, RI Fire, Dec 1890



PROVIDENCE, R. I., Dec. 14.---Thousands of spectators flocked around the scene of Saturday's half-million-dollar fire to-day. Chief of Police Child ordered the circle of the ropes contracted to within safe distance of the tottering walls in order that the crowds might better survey the ruins. Trains coming into the city and the street-car service brought a multitude of spectators, who came and went till late this evening. Portions of the walls which remain, cornices, and a network of Miscellaneous wires are frosted with ice, pendant in stalactites, that glistened in the sunlight of electric light. Adjacent streets are aflow with water and slush.

Hook and Ladder Truck No. 2, upon which the Dorrance Street wall tumbled, was removed to-day in a worthless condition. Fireman Mowry, upon whom the same wall fell and whose leg was broken above and below the knee, is getting along well at the Rhode Island Hospital. The others who were injured are also doing well. From the southeast corner of the cellar was pulled the safe of the J. W. Barnaby corporation to-day, which, when opened, disclosed all its contents in first-class shape. The firm to-day hired new quarters on the corner on Weybosset and Hay Streets, in which it will open next Saturday. Requisitions have been made upon the branch houses in Boston, New-Haven, and other cities to provide goods for doing this.

To-morrow morning the Westminster Street wall and parts of the other sides which remain will be blown up with dynamite. Whether the removal of the west wall, which is a party one, will endanger the walls of the adjoining Root Building remains to be seen. Details of police and of firemen, who watch the smoldering building in the heart of the city, are relieved at stated hours. The firm's temporary quarters on Weybosset Street will be occupied until such time as a permanent building is ready for business. Service of the Providence Telephone Company was damaged to the extent of about $400, as many as 500 subscribers being shut off from the use of their instruments on account of the destruction of ærial cables. Electric lighting and telephone linemen have been busy all day re-stringing wires.

The New York Times, New York, NY 15 Dec 1890