Fire on Court St in Lairds Saloon

Clipped from US, Ohio, Athens, Athens Messenger and Herald, August 13, 1896

Monday Morning’s Fires Started byIncendiaries Cause a Lossof About $7000.I ,ini'- saloon on Main Street, two House* “ ;Ur„HH the River and the Dwelling „f ,i. K. Osmond Destroyed —Other Damage.iv.n\ tire unqestionably of incendiary ori-broke out in Athens about three o'clock Monday morning, completely delving the interior of K. M. Laird's sa-loon on Main .street,and burning to the, round three dwelling houses just across the Hocking river near the south bridge.trim «r these houses also were owned byLaird, and one by J. K. Osmond.*It was probably a few minutes before three o’clock when some person ran through the streets of Athens arousing- j phia Underwriters, the Germania and thethe flames were beyond control, and two buildings belonging' to Laird had already been reduced to ashes. The water was at last turned on, but it was too late. The rear end of Osmond's house had been consumed, tire was bursting from every window and door, and the tin roof was thrown fifteen feet high by the hot current of air. For some time the water did not retard the progress of the flames, but finally the effect of the stream of water was perceptible. The flames continued to diminish, and when the last blaze was extinguished, the house was a total wreck. Nothing but a small part of the front remained standing and it wasblackened and charred.Monday morning's lire probably causeda loss of ah nit £7000. Laird's loss is thegreatest, and perhaps will be£T»000. His loss on his saloon building on Main street, heestimates at £3000, and on stock and barfixtures at £1000. The building was insured for s\»;o0, and the stock for £d000. l'his insurance was held in tlie Philadel-I 4the citizens bv crying “Fire! href Iin-mediatlely after the alarm bells rang out.Franklin of Philadelphia. Laird's buildings near the south bridge were bntli in-1and perhaps ten minutes later the lire sured. One was a new building, justdepartment was on its way to the burn- [ completed, but was not occupied; thevie foujnp building on Main street. The fire , other was an old one and was occupied by Hid to be in the Laird building ; Charles Pidcock, his wife, and Sam Pid-nearlvat the corner of Main and Union code and Albert Milligan. All of Pid-s-.vt m it was seen at once that the fire j cock’s lions •■•hold goods were burned and v;a a dangerous one, and that prompt:n.; vigorous work would be required to the block from total destruction. Fortunately, however, not a breath ofair was tirring, and this fact aided material' / in bringing the tire tinder controlthe loss is perhaps £*J00. The old house was insured for £3t)d. in the G -rmania In surance company; the new building was insured for *1000, in the Milwaukee Mocha nic,s.Osmond managed to remove all hisi *leg mniod by the Blackstone heirs, the upper story being occupied by Mrs. Black-stone and the lower one by Mrs. Llliottas a mil line rv store. On the north and sep-a rated bv wails was the two store struct-•*nre owned bv A. L. Koach and Sons, andnd preventing the flames from spreading : furniture from the lower story, but to other buildings. The Laird building J everything in the upper story was dev/as a two story brick structure, the j stroyed. Osmond estimates his loss at lower story being used for a saloon and j £-000. with an insurance of £1000 in the n\ ur rant and the upper for a pool and ! Milwaukee Mechanics. His records of billiard hall. Adjoining the Laird build- racing horses which he had kept for the imron the south and separated only by a past thirty years, were consumed, and brick wall, was the two story brick build- this loss can never be returned.That the fire was of an incendiary origin cannot be questioned. Holes were bored into a dozen whiskv barrels or more, allowing the fluid to run over the floor of the saloon, before the lire fiends set lire to the building. The whisky made for a grocery, provision and feed j an extremely hot lire, and considering store. The rooms of the Koach building everything it is fortunate that the liames butting those of Laird s were used for were quenched before doing more datastorage, and from these rooms it was nee- age than they did. That more than one tssary to keep the flames, or the whole of : had a hand in the incendiarism cannot be the west side of the .street would be in doubted as Laird's saloon and his new danger of destruction. The dames in the building across the river were tired near-Laird building were at last gotten under ly at the same time. A lire had been control, but not until the interior, the | built in the upper story of the new build-ing, and had gained considerable headway before discovered. The Pidcocksno doubt owe their escape to the fact that Osmond's pointer dog aroused them shortly before three o’clock. For some-time they paid no attention to the dog's111! iacontents, the fixtures, the roof and the walls wen* almost entirely ruined. The upper sturv of Mrs. Blackstone's house caught tire, but the flames were extinguished. Her house was damaged considerably, the roof was partly destroyed, andI!■1 lt;Ithe walls of the interior were blackened | doleful howls, but soon the crackling oflt;and scorched. The windows were brokenand the plastering was torn from theceiling ami the wails. On account of the dense smoke and intense heat, it was impossible to remove the furniture and contents from the second story. The furniture. beds, bureaus and pictures were all greatly damaged by the water, while several beds which were stored in the attic were burned. The lower part of the Blackstone building which was occupied by Mrs. Hilitt's millinery store was considerably damaged by the water, but fortunately nearly all of the millinery stock was saved.Mrs Elliott was in Cincinnati at the time, but her rooms were occupied byMiss Rosa Light of Guysville, who is attending the teachers’ institute and hersister Miss Nora Light who is the clerk n the Recorder’s office. Frank Black-st°ne and and Harry Laird were sleeping the upper story of the building and it was with great difficulty that they werearoused in time to escape from the tiames.Mrs. Blackstone's house and furnitureas probably damaged to the extent ofand neither upon the house nor the intents was their any insurance.What added to the confusion and ex-dement of Monday morning's blaze was Let that two alarms were sent in. an,h'm'cing that there were two fires in-teatt of one. No sooner had the tire de-ached the fire on Main street ul‘m there was heard the cry that houses J L tae ,th bridge were burning. This j j l,rVod to t„. correct, and there was athe burning building and the smoke notified them of the destruction being wrought.Who perpetrated the nefarious work is the mystery which everybody is trying to penetrate, but which nobody thus far has been able to discover a satisfactory solution. Not a single clew has been found that would in any way lead to the apprehension of the incendiaries; and in all probability the affair will remain a mystery unless a Sherlock Holmes is resurrected to work his marvelous analytical methods in running down criminals.*sVc1tJcce*c1Ilt;ttii1tuIn an incredibly shortft* ‘era! scramble to the fire across the i j] lu‘r- 1 he people in the eastern part of | '*lt; ia*\ed there was but one fire and j f* • Main street, and those in the vi- |(f. u the south bridge believed at j ff ‘ 'a e was only one blaze and thatthe river; and when it became■n,,v*ti that there were two blazes in-* e. many with more excitement1 ‘l r tion started thecrv, the wholewub on fire,r 1 * tvets were thronged with poo-o* ' Allied bent on going some place* iil then actions one would infer Jdidn’t exactly know or carewhere. But while they’ ‘ ! ** *ir * from a safe distance and' fire to another t«» no notice* I p5 ’ •f fire company was working j j,•, ickly. When the Main aput under control, attenr* given to the building acro* ^vs■aBl-ije ftt k»u qthe r.TW• I*t,tir e plug to the burning e i hundred sards awa . on I b* f the river, and when the je• wound and attached, itWlin*« to the south end ot tin*fiutne* coul i not 1h reachedime. and then a ten min i MMiititt’d in pr*n uringB* thin time the hti.klisrgsor Ualf an hour or more.lbinwhi