Mount Holly, NJ Fire, Jan 1870

Destructive Fire At Mount Holly.-The town of Mount Holly was visited on Thursday evening with one of the most destructive fires ever known in that place. The fire originated in the store of B.H. Alloway in Mill-Street, opposite Haywood-Street, and neat the Farmers’ National Bank, spreading to the buildings of James D. Shreve on the one side and those of Wm. N. Shinn on the other.

The fire had origin as follows: Mr. Alloway was drawing some of the patent Vesta Illuminating Fluid, when a jet of air struck the flame of the lamp throwing it into the running oil. This immediately took fire and burst out in a vast volume of flame, filling the store, which rapidly spread to the adjoining buildings.

The character of the articles contained in Mr. Shreve’s building rendered them an easy prey to the devouring element. The firemen with their apparatus were soon on the ground, but the water from the plugs failed to flow as readily as it should have done.

The Herald Office and adjoining houses, the house of Mr. Alexander R. Shreve and the Farmers’ Bank were in imminent danger, but the untiring efforts of the citizen-firemen prevented those buildings from burning.

The entire stock of goods in the store of B.H. Alloway was consumed, he did not save his account books nor even the money in his till. Charles R. Gauntt’s entire stock of meat valued at $500 and his account books were burned, so rapid was the progress of the flames. James Gallagher’s stock of boots and tools, Charles R. Dobbin’s oyster saloon and some of the household goods of Joshua Clide, together with the frame buildings in which they were located, were consumed. The household goods in the residence of James D. Shreve were saved, but his stock of household goods, kitchen and furniture, farming utensils, etc., were consumed. His barn also fell a victim to the devouring element, and nothing but the walls of his store and house are standing. On the latter there was an insurance of $2,500, which is but a poor recompense for his loss. Mr. W.N. Shinn’s frame building was also insured. De Souza’s barber shop was gutted and the streets were lined with household goods. Dr. Brown’s house was on fire several times but prompt application of water quenched it.

The entire loss sustained has not yet been ascertained, but it will be very heavy.

Trenton State Gazette, Trenton, NJ 8 Jan 1870