Milton, WV Business District Fire, Oct 1911

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MILTON VISITED BY $80,000 FIRE ON FRIDAY NIGHT

BLAZE OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN SWEPT BUSINESS SECTION OF THE VILLAGE

HOMER HECK WAS INJURED

FELL OFF ROOF OF SHED WHILE PROTECTING FAMILY PROPERTY

Fire which was discovered at one o'clock Friday night and which raged for three hours thereafter wrought havoc in the business section of Milton, the metropolis of Grant District in the northern end of the county. The estimated damage is $80,000, the total inurance on all the property being $20,000. The burned buildings were located on Main Street and were owned and occupied as follows:

J.C. GOODWIN, dwelling.

Harvey Blackwood, large dwelling occupied by pants factory, and two small dwellings, one occupied by Walter WILSON.

J.A. MULLEN, store house.

Two brick business houses owned by Mrs. W.H. BOWLES, occupied by Sandford & Meadows, general store, W.H. Bowles, furinture store, W.G. CONNOR, restaurant, and the Knights of Pythias Hall.

The only injury sustained was that of Homer HECK, who fell off the shed in front of Heck's Store while engaged in throwing water on the building to prevent it from catching fire. Heck fell a number of feet and the force of his fall jarred him severely. His injuries, however, were not serious.

The fire started in the rear of the J.A. Mullen store house in a manner as yet unknown. It is probable that State Fire Marshall ELLISION or his deputy, F.S. CHERRINGTON, will go to Milton at once to investigate the fire.

When the discovery of the fire was made an instant alarm was sounded and in a few minutes the whole populace was abroad. Every able bodied citizen joined in the work of saving what ever might be saved from destruction. Bucket lines were formed and the water poured persistently on the flames, which despite the best efforts, spread rapidly. While the work of the bucket brigade was in progress another detail of men was busy laying pipe line from the Harshbarger mill to the street. When this line was completed the mill water supply was turned into it and the big mill hose used to help out the bucket brigade.

This marked the turning point in the fight and it soon became evident that it would be possible to hold the fire in the limits to which it had already spread.

Soon after the fire started a telephone message was sent to Chief Davis of the Huntington Fire Department asking for aid. He referred the appeal to Mayor Switzer and, pending instructions, prepared to rush a special detail of men, with such apparatus as might have proved needful to Milton on a special train. The success of the townfolks, however, in confining the fire area, made this unnecessary.

The fact that the fire did not wipe out the whole block is due, it is said, to the presence of the Parrish concrete building, beyond which the flames could not spread.

An interesting feature of the fire was the fact taht the handsome Goodwin residence was uninsured, the policies having been allowed to lapse only a week before.

Source:
Huntington Advertiser, 21 OCT 1911