Pittsburg, PA Disastrous Fire, May 1845
ANOTHER DISASTROUS FIRE IN PITTSBURG !
SIXTY TO SEVENTY HOUSES IN ASHES -- ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY TO TWO HUNDRED FAMILIES, COMPRISING SEVEN TO NINE HUNDRED PERSONS RENDERED HOUSELESS AND HOMELESS ! !
Our city has again been the scene of another disastrous conflagration -- more dreadful than the first as regards the actual suffering which will follow, although comparatively small when the amount of property is considered.
About a quarter before 9 o'clock last evening, a fire was discovered in the stable of SAMUEL YOUNG drayman, on Seventh street, a few doors below Coal lane, which soon extended to the surrounding buildings -- all of which were of wood -- filled with poor families, and hurling blazing cinders in every direction by turns.
Our firemen were promptly upon the ground, and worked nobly and unceasingly to arrest the destruction, but the scarceness of water and want of proper and sufficient hose, greatly impeded their efforts. Near 11 o'clock the fire was got under, and by 20 minutes past 11 all danger of farther destruction was past, although the engines were still playing when we left the ground at half past 11.
The stable in which the fire originated was about forty feet from Seventh street, and in this distance were a row of wooden tenements; which were razed -- that immediately in front of the stable being occupied by MR. YOUNG. Three horses which were in his stable were saved. From this point the fire spread up Poplar lane (or alley) to Washington street, (two houses, on the corner, saved) in a northeasterly direction, sweeping all the buildings to Prospect street; crossed Prospect street, destroying all the buildings to the brow of the hill at the intersection of Quarry street; down from the direction of Washington street to within a few doors of Fountain street, where by extraordinary exertion, it was stayed.
The amount of ground now covered with ruins is computed at about three acres, more or less, and which was compactly built up with wooden tenements, literally stewed full with poor families, many of whom have lost every thing they possessed in the world and have neither shelter nor the means of getting it. The dwellings were generally poor and of no great value, many of them double, and in which some two or three families lived, heaven knows how. The ground belonged to the O'HARA estate, and was leased. MR. HARMER DENNY is agent. The buildings did not belong to the estate, but to those who lived in them, or landlords in other parts of the city.
We passed through the burnt district after the fire had abated, and endeavored to make a calculation of the loss. The number of houses burned will not vary far from sixty to seventy. The loss of property will not, we think, exceed $40,000 -- perhaps not over $30,000.
It is impossible to tell how many families have been rendered homeless -- probably 150 to 200. These will comprise from 700 to 900 persons. In no part of the city could a fire have occurred, by which less property would have been destroyed, or which would have caused more actual destitution. But one brick house, MR. J. MACKEREL'S, was burned.
The fire was, beyond a doubt, the work of incendiaries. MR. YOUNG had fed his horses before dark, and was down town when the fire broke out.
Two or three attempts have lately been made to fire this district. One was noticed in the city papers a few days ago, at which time a stable adjoining YOUNG'S was fired, and a horse's throat cut. The sufferers are almost exclusively Irish.
The Republican Compiler Gettysburg Pennsylvania 1845-06-02
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!