O'Brien, TX Business Fire, Apr 1950

Blaze Destroys O'Brien Stores

O'Brien, April 4. (RNS)--Fire departments from Rochester and Knox City answered a call Tuesday to battle a fire that levelled two business houses in this town of 500 persons.

The two buildings, which housed the Barnard and Thomas Grocery and the Griffin Laundry, were totally destroyed. The fire is believed to have started near living quarters in the rear of the laundry.

Both buildings were property of Mrs. D. E. Thomas.

Only salvage from the grocery store was the adding machine, scales and meat slicer. All other contents of both buildings were total losses.

The post office, a service station and residence of Dwight Gothard, the latter two across from the burning buildings, were all evacuated as they were threatened by the flames.

On his second day in office, Postmaster, D. R. Wadsworth was forced to stand guard over mail sacks, money, stamps, furniture and part of the post office boxes that were moved out when the fire threatened.

The blaze reached within 50 feet of a big new supermarket being built by Leon Autry.

O'Brien, once a thriving West Texas city of over 2,000 suffered a disastrous fire in 1909 when about 75 per cent of the business district was destroyed. The city has never been built back to its previous size.

Abilene Reporter News, Abilene, TX 5 Apr 1950