Penn's Grove, NJ Town Fire, Mar 1932

Penns Grove NJ Main Street circa 1925.jpg Penns Grove NJ Stores On Broad Street Burned.jpg

BLAME THE "OLD GREY MARE."

(By United Press.)
Penns Grove, N. J., Mar. 2 -- An "old grey mare" was blamed today for the worst fire in the history of this town of 5,000, a blaze that destroyed 73 dwellings, 6 business houses and caused damage estimated by Mayor ROBERT W. KIDD at $750,000.
Salem County Fire Marshal DAVID JOHNSON said a horse in a waterfront blacksmith shop apparently struck a spark that started the blaze.
Other reports, not confirmed, were that small boys set the building on fire by dropping a match into a pile of hay. A citizen reported seeing several boys run from the place just before the fire.
Fanned by a fierce wind sweeping unhindered across the broad Delaware river from Wilmington, Del., the flames roared through one frame structure after another. Local volunteer firemen, finding their efforts pitifully inadequate summoned fire companies from surrounding towns.
Engines from about 50 south Jersey communities and some from Camden and Philadelphia, 40 miles away, and Wilmington, across the river responded.

Mohessan Daily Independent Pennsylvania 1932-03-02