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Savannah, NY Fire, Nov 1908

FIRE DESTROYS VILLAGE. Syracuse, N. Y., Nov 3- The village of Savannah, twenty miles west of here, in Wayne county, was almost wiped out by fire today. Twenty-two buildings were consumed, the loss amounting to $150,000. The buildings destroyed include two hotels, the opera house, postoffice, two telephone offices, fourteen stores, a warehouse and three residences.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne, IN, 3 Nov 1908


Savannah, Nov. 3 - A fire that broke out here at 3 o'clock this morning has left the village all but in ruins. Twenty-two buildings were consumed by the flames with a total damage of $160,000, about half of which is covered by insurance. Twelve families were made homeless, the members of each of them escaping only in their night cloths, and in some cases there were narrow escapes from death or serious injuries.

Among the buildings destroyed were two in which the polling places of the village were located. When a fire spread toward these buildings the doors of the polling place were forced open and the ballots to be used at the election to-day were taken out. Two of the register books were lost, however. The County Clerk asked advice from Supreme Court Justice Sawyer regarding the election, and a special order was made designating two new polling places.

The plant of the Savannah Times was another building destroyed and the editor of the paper announced this morning that the publication of his paper would be temporarily suspended.

The fire spread along Main Street in both directions. Between Railroad and Clyde streets on Main street only one building was left standing. Two buildings in Railroad street were burned.

The efforts of the local volunteer Fire department to check the progress of the blaze was of little avail. Engine company No. 3 of Syracuse arrived here with their engine shortly before 5 o'clock. By that time the fire had all but burned itself out and the visiting firemen could be of but little assistance. Help was also received from Clyde but they, too, arrived too late to aid in checking the blaze.

The fire broke out at 3 o'clock in Millan's bakery in Main street. it's origin is not known. The bakery was on the ground floor of a two story frame building. The flames spread in both directions, north and south, through Main street, and when it gained considerable headway leaped across the street. In a half hour from the time it started in the area between Railroad and Clyde streets was a mass of flames. Among the first buildings to catch fire were Munson's storehouse and Mrs. West's residence adjoining it on Railroad street. There were no other places in the immediate vicinity or they also would have been destroyed.

It was in the very heart of the business section of the village on Main street that the greatest damage was done. The fire spread on both sides of the street for two blocks and only one building, a two story frame house, the very last one the east side of the street was left standing.

Munson's storehouse was filled with provisions, vegetables, fruits of various kinds and the contents of the building are a total loss. The largest building burned was the Savannah House, a three story frame building in Main street. A. J. Spoor was the proprietor of the hotel. The guests in the hotel escaped before the flames reached the building.

Besides those mentioned the following buildings were totally destroyed in the conflagration: The Newton House, two-story frame; Smith's meat market and apartments, two-story frame; Wilds's hardware store, two-story frame; Gidding's general store, two-story frame; Gregg's Opera house, two-story frame; Calkin's barber shop, one-story frame; Colton's general store and Masonic hall, two-story frame; Fitch's saloon and hall, two-story frame; Sherman's drug store, two-story frame; Dayton's restaurant, two-story frame; McNare's bakery, one-story frame; Collin's meat market, Grange hall and Field's store, two-story frame; Silver's furniture store, two-story frame; Austin & Myers's hardware store, two-story frame; Egnors's millinery store and Harvey's law office, two-story frame; Hadden's hardware store, two-story frame; Morgan's tobacco shop, two-story frame; Gilflin's shoe shop, one-story frame; the Whitbeck block, two-story brick; the Post office and Smith & Reed's general store, two-story frame; Farlands' jewelry store and Westcott's law office, two-story frame. In nearly all these buildings there were living rooms on the second floor.

The flames spread with great rapidity, and the people living over the stores were lucky to escape with their lives and in their night clothes without attempting to save any of their belongings. Some of the people did not carry insurance and their loss is complete.

The local firemen and the visiting fire fighters confined their efforts to saving adjoining property upon their arrival. It was useless to play water on the buildings which were afire. The fire burned from 3 until 6 o'clock.

Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, 3 Nov 1908

article | by Dr. Radut