Croghan, NY Fire, Apr 1912

Ruins of the Central Hotel, Croghan, New York Apr 1912

Flames Spread.
The excitement of the rescue had in a measure caused the firemen to under estimate the danger to property. By the time the GROUNERT little ones were out of the building, the fire had swept along to other buildings. Many of them were wooden structures and the heat was so intense that firemen were driven from the hose and the hydrants on some occasions before they had time to close hydrants. The result of this was an unnecessary flow of water that weakened the water pressure to such an extent that later they were greatly handicapped.
The post office in the general store of MRS. MARGARET VIRKLER, which was in the GROUNERT block, was destroyed in a twinkling. Six feet south of the GROUNERT block was ISADOR TISS'S furniture store and almost simultaneously with the destruction of the post office the TISS store was fired. Early in its course the fire jumped across Main street and both sides of the street were quickly burning.
Above the post office and the TISS store were living apartments which were destroyed with their contents. Speedily store after store was gripped by the flames. PETER SHINBOURNE'S shoe factory, WILLIAM RITZ'S cafe, RAYMOND LEE'S new Five and Ten Cent store, NORMAN MARTIN'S Commercial hotel and CONRAD HOCH'S dwelling house went down one after the other. Along the west side of the street, too, the fire destroyed DR. I. D. SPENCER'S offces[sic], MONETT'S notion store and dwelling, the residences of EDWARD MONORE and JACOB PARQUET, the millinery parlors of LAWRENCE CANTLON, and FRED PIERCE'S home.
Town Hall Burns.
On the other side of the street the fire took hold of HONSICKER'S meat market and residence, S. E. SIMONET'S drug store and residence and E. M. MARILLEY'S general store. MR. MARILLEY'S loss was estimated at $50,000. The Town Hall and opera house were turned to ruins despite the efforts that were made to save them. They had recently been remodeled at big expense. Store, shop and dwellings went down in order.
When the local firemen found that the fire had got beyond them they called for help and Lowville sent a special train with a chemical engine and 1,500 feet of hose and a company of firemen. The flames burned so intensely, fanned by the strong wind from the west, that time after time the firemen were forced to quickly drop back. Many hydrants were left running and hose that could not be disconnected was burned.
Mill Owners Lose $200,000.
The FARNEY & STEINER and the VIRKLER feed and grist mills were destroyed with all of their valuable machinery. One of the mill men placed his loss at $200,000. Other stores that were fired and burned to the ground were the clothing store of J. A. HENRY, the cafe and residence of MRS. C. D. LaPORT, in which was the office of the Black River Telephone company; the double residence of JACOB BACH, NICHOLAS PARQUET'S large hotel, NORTZ & SON'S general store, and FRED STRIFE'S Central Hotel was destroyed; but at this point the firemen had concentrated their efforts and it was soon evident that they had the progress of the flames stopped.
St. Stephen's Roman Catholic church and the Franciscan monastery with the large school building connected with it were saved.
The call to Lowville reached there at 8 o'clock. A special train was made up and the run of twelve miles was made in 18 minutes.

The Syracuse Herald New York 1912-05-01

Search for more information on this disaster and other train wrecks, fires, accidents, etc. in historical newspapers in the Newspaper Archive. You just might find your ancestors in old newspaper articles. Search for your ancestors among the billions of names at ancestry.com Find death records, census images, immigration lists and genealogy other databases for your surnames. Use this Free trial to search for your ancestors. Start Your Family Tree It's FREE and easy. Start with yourself, your parents, grandparents and you're on your way to building your family history! Get Started Now and build your family tree at ancestry.com. It's Free!