Camden, NJ Brick Works Fire, Jan 1905
BIG BRICK WORKS WRECKED BY FIRE
Hatch Brothers' Plant, on Outskirts of Camden, Practically Wiped Out
ONLY BUILDING LEFT IS THE BOILER HOUSE
Hatch Brothers' brick works, at Fish House, on the Amboy Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and just on the outskirts of Camden, were destroyed by fire last night. The only building left of the big plant is the boiler house. The loss is estimated at between $15,000 and $25,000. Camden firemen are inclined to place the loss at about $30,000.
The fire broke out about half-past eight o'clock. The flames were first discovered by trolleymen on the Camden and Suburban Railroad, who sent a telephone message to the car barn in Camden, from which place an alarm was sent into the Camden Fire Department. Chief Samuel Elfreth immediately ordered the East Side Company to the scene of the blaze. When the firemen reached the place the only thing they could do was merely to "put out" the flames, as the plant had been practically destroyed.
The flames illuminated the skies and were to be seen for miles around. At first it was thought that some big barns on a farm on the outskirts of Camden were on fire, and it was some time before persons living at only a short distance learned of the location of the blaze.
A three-story building, 150 feet long and 60 feet wide, was destroyed, together with six kilns. The building contained valuable machinery for the manufacture of bricks and also improved machinery for drying.
While the origin of the fire is not exactly known, the fire is presumed to have been started by tramps, who, about this season of the year, infest the neighborhood, making their rendezvous along the river banks.
The plant had been managed by members of the well-known Hatch family for many years. Former Mayor Cooper B. Hatch, of Camden, until a short time ago, had a large interest in the industry.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 8 Jan 1905
Sons May Rebuild Plant
Hugh Hatch, owner of the Hatch Brick Works, at the Fish House, that were destroyed by fire Saturday night, yesterday estimated the loss to the plant as being about $40,000, with about $20,000 insurance. He said he was undecided, on account of his age, as to whether he would build. In case he decided to retire he said his ons, Isaiah and Morgan, would likely take the plant in hand. Fifty hands have been thrown out of employment.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 9 Jan 1905