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Jefferson, TX Fire, Jul 1904

Street Scene, Jefferson, TX early 1900s, photo from familyoldphotos.com

POSSIBLY HALF MILLION DOLLAR FIRE

JEFFERSON VISITED BY HEAVY CONFLAGRATION LAST NIGHT

Two Mercantile Blocks and Six Warehouses Went Up in Flames -- Fire Checked Only by Blowing Up Houses in its Path

Jefferson, Tex. July 1. -- (Special.) -- At 9:30 [?] o'clock tonight, fire broke out in the Torrans Manufacturing Company and swept with amazing fury until two big mercantile establishments and six warehouses were totally destroyed, with an aggregate loss of $300,000 to $500,000, about half insured.

Torrans Manufacturing Co., lumber, shingles, hardware, etc., loss $75,000 to $90,000. Insurance about one-half.

J. H. Roswell & Sons, general merchandise; loss [illegible], insurance about one-half.
Six warehouses containing goods belonging to the Torrans Manufacturing Company, to Roswell & Sons and others. One of the houses was owned by W. D. Ward. Mrs. J.J. Reeves owned a half interest in another with the Torrans Company. The value of the contents and building can only be estimated, but runs way up into the thousands. The progress of the fire was checked by dynamite and at 10:55 is partly under control, but the White building is still in danger. There were no serious accidents.

Marshall, Tex was called on for help and their fire engine loaded ready to come, but in that time the fire was under control and it did not come.

The fire started in the plant of the Torrans Manufacturing Company. The flames soon swept that block completely away and spread to an adjoining business block which was soon almost entirely burned. The fire then attacked the Aphard Block and after that had been partly destroyed and the firemen were powerless to check the flames, dynamite was resorted to and several buildings in the path of the fire were blown up and the fire checked.

There is so much confusion that conditions border on panic and it is almost impossible to get details of the losses tonight. The value of the property destroyed is estimated all the way from $300,000 to a half million dollars.

San Antonio Daily Express, San Antonio, TX 2 Jul 1904

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