Deming, NM Fire Destroys Business Block, May 1914

Deming Circa 1910 Fire In Progress Fire In Progress




Fire which broke out at eleven o'clock on Saturday night in the premises occupied by the HEATH Hat Shop and the Western Union Telegraph Company spread rapidly until it had taken in the entire block and had completely wiped out the buildings tenanted by the Deming National Bank, the CLARK Grocery Company, the CLARK Clothing Company, the Victoria Hotel, the HEATH Hat Shop, the Western Union, the JAS. A. KINNEAR Drug Store, and the Masonic building. The fire department was on the scene within a few minutes of the commencement of the outbreak, but owing to the inadequacy of pressure from the mains they were unable to cope with the flames, with the result that the entire block and all the stocks contained in the different stores were a total loss. Pumping was carried on by the motor at the water works at first, but on account of the danger from the electric wires on Gold avenue and Pine street, the power was shut off and only the stand pipe was left in operation. Determined efforts on the part of the fire fighters were all that saved the property of the Deming Mercantile Co. and prevented the fire from leaping across the alley between KINNEAR'S and the Mercantile Company. The heat of the flames cracked the windows in the LINDAUER Mercantile Company's store on the east side of Gold avenue and also the windows of the upper stories of the DECKERT building. Windows in the First State Bank and the NORDHAUS' store were also cracked by the heat. Fortunately there was no wind at the time or the fire would have taken the whole of the business section.
All the papers and money of the Deming Natinoal Bank were placed in the vault, and the only loss suffered by the bank is the furniture and fixtures of the office, which were valued at $1200 and carried an insurance policy of $1000. The vault remains intact and will be opened as soon as it has had time to cool. The officials of the bank opened temporary quarters in the Chamber of Commerce on Monday morning. ROSCH & LEOPOLD rushing the new fixtures and appointments to completion without a moment's delay.
The CLARK Grocery Company managed to save their books and records and opened on Monday morning in the Wormser building on Silver avenue. Their loss will approximate $5000. The stock was worth $15,000 and the insurance carried amounted to $10,000.
The CLARK Clothing Company carried a stock valued at $22,000 and insurance amounting to $13,000; STEVE NIXON, proprietor of the Victoria Hotel, suffered a net loss of $1500, the furniture in the hotel being valued at $2500, with insurance of $1000. All the guests in the hotel escaped without injury, but MR. and MRS. NIXON were only able to save the clothes they were wearing at the time. JAMES A. KINNEAR carried a stock valued at close to $24,000 and carried insurance amounting to $12,000.
The stock in the HEATH Hat Shop, amounting to $2000, was fully covered by insurance. The Western Union also carried insurance on their property amounting to $750, which will cover all their loss.
All the local secret and fraternal orders, with the exception of the Masons, had their records and regalia stored in the K. P. hall over the CLARK Clothing Company's store, and these were a total loss. The Masonic lodge, in uniforms and regalia alone, suffered a loss of $1200, and the building and other property owned by the lodge will bring the loss up very close to $12,000, of which $7,000 was covered by insurance. At the service in the Christian church REV. S. R. McCLURE offered the church to the various orders to be used as a lodge room until such time as a new lodge room can be built.
Workmen started early Monday morning clearing away the debris from the sidewalks, and the walls of the buildings that remain standing will be torn down immediately and the ground cleared to make room for the new buildings that will be started as soon as the insurance adjusters are through their investigations and arranging for the payments of the fire losses.
The staff of electricians of the Deming Ice & Electric Company were at work all day Sunday restringing the wires that had been broken or cut during the time the fire was raging and the lights were turned on again on Sunday evening by seven o'clock.
The loss total occasioned by the fire, including buildings and stocks, will run the damage close to $125,000, about half of which is covered by insurance.
The buildings occupied by the Deming National Bank, the Victoria Hotel, the CLARK Grocery Company, the CLARK Clothing Company, the Western Union and the HEATH Hat Shop were the property of MRS. A. J. CLARK, who arrived here Tuesday morning from California and immediately took up the adjustment of her loss with the fire insurance companies. The premises in which the KINNEAR Drug Store and the lodge rooms were situated were owned by the local lodge of Masons.

The Deming Headlight New Mexico 1914-05-15