Chattanooga, TN depot fire, Sept 1905


Freight Depot Used by Three Railroads and a Large Number of Loaded Cars Destroyed.

Chattanooga, Tenn., Sept. 10. - At least $500,000 is the estimated loss in a fire which broke out tonight in the freight yards of the Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific Railway company, totally destroying the freight depot with its entire contents, 42 freight cars, most of which were fully loaded, two mail cars, two baggage cars and the private car of Superintendent M. W. McGuire. Four hours' time was required by the combined fire departments of the city in extinguishing the flames, which had spread rapidly before the alarm was turned in on account of the difficulty the tracks made of reaching the burning point.

The origin of the fire is a complete mystery. It was discovered at 6,55 p. m., by a watchman. At that time flames were pouring through the roof of the freight depot and in a few seconds they had attacked a number of cars which were standing along the tracks. An effort was made to move some of the cars but all could not be gotten away on account of the density of the smoke and the intense heat. The depot itself was filled with freight, the accumulation of both Saturday and Sunday. Freight Agent G. F. Hobart states that the railway company would suffer intensely on account of the very large amount of goods waiting shipment or delivery. The cars burned were nearly all loaded.

While the fire was in progress, efforts were made by a number of thieves to rob other cars in the vicinity and a large force of police were called out to protect the property. The deopt had recently been repaired to the extent of several thousand dollars. It was used by the Cincinnati Southern, the Alabama Great Southern and the Central of Georgia railways. It immediately adjoined the Central depot, the Cincinnati Southern shops and several large manufacturing establishments. A wind was blowing and only fine work by the fire department prevented further destruction.

The State, Columbia, SC 11 Sept 1905