Paris, TX Town Fire, Mar 1916

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TEXAS TOWN ALMOST WIPED OUT BY BLAZE.

CHURCHES, BUSINESS BLOCKS, HOTELS AND RESIDENCES RAZED; LOSS IS IN MILLIONS.

BULLETIN Paris, Texas, March 22. -- It is reported that from 10 to 30 persons have lost their lives in the fire here, but confirmation is lacking.

Dallas, Texas, March 22. -- Fully ten thousand persons are homeless and half that number went without breakfast this morning as a result of last night's fire, according to a telegram received today from County Judge Thomas L. Beauchamp, of Paris, Texas. The telegram adds: "We need groceries and money today."

Paris, Texas, March 22. -- Fire swept through this city for six hours last night and destroyed approximately thirty blocks. The property loss was estimated all the way from two to five million dollars. The fire is under control. There was no loss of life so far as is known.

The fire started about 5:30 yesterday afternoon in a storage warehouse of H. J. LONG, at the foot of South Eighteenth street, adjoining the Texas and Pacific Railway tracks. The wind was blowing a gale at the time and the flames were driven so rapidly that they soon were beyond control. In less than two hours, the fire had laid waste to a section extending from Eighteenth to Twenty-fifth streets in width and along several blocks of the Texas and Pacific right of way, burning several of the most costly residences, the Episcopal church, the Congregational church and First Baptist church, several apartment houses, the Gibralter and Emerick Hotels and many other structures.

With nothing to check its progress, the fire reaching the city square, rapidly entered the business district proper. At 9:30 there were no signs of checking the flames and fire fighting apparatus began to arrive from Dallas, Sherman, Greenville and Bonham, Texas, and Hugo, Oklahoma.

Toward midnight the wind died down and the fire began to subside somewhat because there was no further material to feed the flames. Practically every building on either side of the square in the heart of the business center, was destroyed.

The Paris water supply is drawn from a storage tank six miles west of town and is pumped by electrical driven engine. The electric power plant having been consumed early in the evening and all telephone wires put out of commission, there was no means of notifying the engineer at the storage lake to start the emergency pumps.

The central fire station also had been burned together with most of the city's fire hose. With the outside assistance at work and only a slight wind prevailing, shortly after one o'clock the fire was practically under control. The suffering among the homeless during the night was not believed to have been severe as the weather was mild.

Portsmouth Daily Times Ohio 1916-03-22

Photos of the fire from the book Views of the Paris, Texas Fire

More articles about the fire (below):