Fire in Smith Hotel and Grocery

Clipped from US, Ohio, Athens, Athens Messenger and Herald, May 14, 1896

I 'On Friday rooming: of Inst week, at about 2 o’clock cur citirerss were awakened bv the sound of tlie fire bellsIwhich announced what proved to be : tlie most destructive fire since the m-! auguration of our water works system.r‘VI The grocery and Smith hotel, near the i ( B. A- O. S-W. crossing on Union street, had canglit fire from a lamp which lud■; been left burning in the store.| When the fire was first discovered, it ] | had burned the wail and was making j I quite a bright light. Residents living ; ] near were aroused and secured hose pipe from the Athens Lumber Company's wareroom and had succeeded in Nabating the flames somew hat before the I •j firt* company arrived. They were t-o sI, Ylate however to extinguish the flames ; ^ as the opening bet wet u the ceiling and i c the weather boards furnished an cornel*oaI lent draft and increased the fury of the j t i lire. For sometime after the tire com- j cpuny arrived there was no little doubton part of bystanders as to the ability of the department to save the lunldin and adjoining ones, bur after more I j than an hour of heroic effort, every j v ! spark was extinguished.The entire building was literally charf +r1\I rrelt;l on the inside. The rooms up stairs lt;1fwere all on fire and the fact that the | ft fire w as put out at all shows that Athens j * lias a fire company that cannot be excelled where the facilities for lighting tire are the same. In the absence of the water works the building would 11 | have gone up in smoke in a very short j ,! time ami the adjoining buildings with it.1 The only occupants of the houseI were Mr. Pave Peoples and two serv-i ants, Mrs. Smith being in the east.1 The building is left practically worth-\ less and but few pieces of furniture ! were saved. There was 8C000 insurance on the contents of the house but notii*d1tlancuwding on the structure itself.° i ti