Burlington, VT Lumber Factory Fire, Jun 1888



BURLINGTON, Vt., June 6.----The most diastrous fire in Burlington for many years broke out in the lumber district at 8 o'clock this morning, burning over two blocks. The fire started in the dry house attached to Taft & Morgan's extensive door, sash, and blind factory, at the foot of College-street. From this it extended to the factory filled with lumber in various stages of manufacture. This was almost instantly wrapped in flames throughout its four stories. The wind blew hard from the south, and the fire at once leaped College-street and caught the office of G. I. Linsley and the Baldwin Manufacturing Company and the extensive retail lumber sheds of the Shepard & Morse Company. These were soon a mass of flames. West of Taft & Morgan's factory is the great Shepard & Morse planing mill, one of the largest in the country. The fire caught the roof of this, about half of which was burned, but the machinery and the contents of the mill were saved. South of Taft & Morgan's dry house the fire extended to their storehouses along Battery-street and thence to half dozen tenement houses. The fire spread in 20 minutes north to Bank-street, where the Fire Department made a last stand. Beyond this were other lumber mills and yard worth millions. Screens of boards were improvised and held up between the firemen and the fire, enabling them to keep a large number of streams on the buildings on the opposite side of the street, and this great lumber district was saved. The total loss is about $150,000, of which Shepard & Morse lose $80,000. Over 1,000,000 feet of lumber was burned. Taft's mill, valued at $30,000, was owned by Shepard & Morse. Taft's loss on machinery and stock is $25,000; insured for $19,000. Baldwin's Refrigerator Company's loss on office is $2,500; insured. The remainder, tenement houses and lumber sheds, including Shepard & Morse's retail department, are mostly insured. About 300 hands are thrown out of employment.

The New York Times, New York, NY 7 Jun 1888