Fitchburg, MA Mechanic Street Fire, Feb 1904


Mechanic Street Fire Slight Because of Early Discovery.

The firemen were [ineligible] out of warm beds to face a stiff wind at five below zero this morning, through an alarm of fire from Box 34. A small tenement house at the upper end of Mechanic street was found to be on fire, but the firemen got at it so quickly and found chemical extinguishers were used in putting out the flames.

The house is numbered 141 and 141½ and is owned by F. F. Fetts. The lower tenement is occupied by Emile Gustafson and above him is Victor Rayala's home. In the shed of Mr. Gustafson's tenement a tub is kept under the window and in this sweepings and odds and ends are kept. From investigation made this morning, Chief Murnane thinks that the fire started from that tub, the family having unconsciously thrown something inflammable there.

Form[sic] the tub, the flames spread to the ceiling and in through to the tenement above, but the damage was little. The fire was discovered in an early stage by a man sleeping in the kitchen of the upper tenement. He has been forced to take short naps in a reclining chair because of a broken arm, and happened to be awake when the smoke below was filling the house. His prompt discovery saved much trouble, for there was wind enough at that time to have kept the firemen busy had the flames been able to work through to the outside.

The Fitchburg Sentinel, Fitchburg, MA 10 Feb 1904