Big Spring, TX 4-H Club fire, Apr 1950


Losses amounting to several thousand dollars resulted from a fire that completely destroyed a Howard County 4-H club building at Municipal airport Friday afternoon.

Cause of the blaze which also consumed stored goods valued at at least $3,000 was not determined. A large portion of the building was in flames by the time city firemen reached the scene.

The entire structure was destroyed in less than an hour as the fire, fanned by a west wind, swept along tinder-like wood-and tar paper walls. Burned with the building were approximately $2,000 of bottled drinks, a semi trailer and light truck, and hog pens, sheep panels, and chicken coops.

Firemen wet down a similar building belonging to the Howard County Hereford Breeders association immediately west of the burned structure to prevent the fire from spreading in that direction.

Intensity of the heat set fire to a loading dock and cross-ties in a spur track which paralleled the building. Another building had been moved from the site immediately east of the fire, probably preventing it from spreading in that direction.

Bottled drinks were stored in the building by the Grapette Bottling company. They were valued at $2,000 by T. A. Kilpatrick, Odessa, owner of the company. He said they were insured for considerable less than that amount.

The semi trailer and truck had been stored by T. J. Tidwell who could not be contacted Saturday. Tidwell also lost a quantity of miscellaneous carnival equipment in the blaze.

The sheep panels, pens, and chicken coops belonged to the Howard county Fair association. Coops alone were valued at approximately $1,000, County Agent Durward Lewter said. A section of seats installed by the Fair association also went up in the flames.

No value was placed on the building which covered 9,216 square feet of floor space. However, City Manager H. W. Whitney said it would cost roughly $25,000 to replace the structure.

It was insured for $1,500, Lewter said.

The Big Spring Daily Herald, Big Spring, TX 30 Apr 1950