Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bangor, Maine Destroyed by Fire

A great travesty struck Bangor, Maine yesterday as a fast-moving fire swept through the Business district and last night swept through a residential district on the town's north side. At least three people have been killed according to this evening's edition of the Washington Times and scores injured by the intense flames that were kicked up by high winds in the region. This morning's Washington Herald counts the dead at two. This latest fiery tragedy comes on the heels of a number of deadly conflagrations experienced this year, including Triangle Waistshirt Factory fire that killed nearly 150, a fire that destroyed the New York State Capitol, and another that destroyed Nationals Park where the Washington Nationals play baseball.

The fire started at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon in a hay shed at the corner of Broad and Union Streets, near the junction of the Panobscot River and Kenduskeag Creek, and was pushed into the rest of the business district, containing a number of government buildings, by high winds. The fire spread north flamed by a southerly breeze, and destroyed a number of prominent buildings, including the Morse-Oliver building where firefighter John Wiltshire was struck by a falling wall. While he recovered and was seen at a third-story window, the floor collapsed. The two identified dead, according to the Washington Times were George Abbott of Brewer, Maine, who was killed by a falling chimney, and firefighter John Scribner who was killed in the Morse-Oliver Building, The public library, several buildings of Bangor High School, the Post Office, the depot of the Maine Central, the Bangor News building, Norumbega Hall, the Fairbanks & Co. plant, and the Windsor Hotel were all destroyed by the fire.

Washington newspapers today estimate the cost of the damages from the fire to be around $10,000,000 and more than 3,000 people are homeless today as a result. A great number of firefighters and state militia were called in overnight to aid the overstretched city services in order to combat the fire and potential looting.

Firefighters attempted to control the blaze by dynamiting a block near Hammond and Central Streets but this failed to contain the fire as the fire also spread more to the south, pushed by winds of its own creation.

The Washington Herald reported that a light rain began to fall overnight, and that helped to contain the fire early this morning, according to the Washington Times.

Link: Three Dead and Millions Lost in Bangor Fire [The Washington Times]
Link: Bangor is Swept by Fire causing $6,000,000 Loss [The Washington Herald]

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