Newark, OH Licking County Courthouse Tower Fire, Mar 1879

A County Court-House In Flames.

Partial Destruction Of Licking County’s New Building-Careless Workmanship The Cause.

Newark, Ohio, March 29.-A fire was discovered in the tower of the new Licking County Court-house, at this place, just before noon today. Before water could be thrown to where the fire broke out the whole tower was in flames. Assistance from Columbus was telegraphed for, and a steamer and hose-reels came by a special train. From the fact that recent investigation has shown that irregularities have been started among certain county officers, people think the fire the work of guilty men to cover up their wrong-doing. Four years ago the court-house was burned to the ground, with the records. The present building was completed last Fall at a cost of $196,000, and was said to be one of the finest public buildings in the State. It is claimed that a fire was made in the ventilator was built of wood. This ended in the top of the garret, where a number of valuable records were stowed away. The records were such as were saved from the former fire, and contained the transactions of old auditors and Commissioners. Firemen who were in the tower before the flames reached it say that a large quantity of brimstone was seen in the attic over the Clerk’s office. The loss on building is estimated at about $60,000, with only $20,000 insurance. Indignation runs high among citizens against the Commissioners who capped such a magnificent building with a tinder-box.

The New York Times, New York, NY 30 Mar 1879

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