PA Firefighters Reflect on High School Fire

The Doylestown Public School fire (PA) might be one of the most remembered fires in recent Doylestown history,  but it was not the biggest, reports phillyburbs.com.

Jay Stough is one of a small group of Doylestown firefighters who volunteered for the fire company in 1973 and still volunteer for it today. On the occasion of the fire's 40th anniversary, phillyburbs.com spoke with some of them about the fire, how it compared to other fires in Doylestown, what it was like to fight the flames and how they nearly lost two men when the building collapsed.

The biggest fires in Doylestown were the fires that destroyed Nyce's Planing Mill on Wood Street in the late 1930s and Doylestown Concrete Products on South Main Street (located where Details Salon is now) in the late 1970s, the firefighters said.

The Doylestown Public School fire "was no different, in those days, from a barn fire. We had a barn fire every year," Doylestown Fire Co. President Bill Cope said. "What was different is that it was a school and it had a lot of sentimental value."

The three-story pink granite castle-like structure was built at the corner of Broad and Court streets in 1889 as a public school for children in Doylestown and other neighboring communities. A three-story red brick annex was built behind the main school in 1912. Another brick addition was built in 1925.

Many in the community remember the main building as Doylestown High School, but it actually housed students in the primary grades. Students in the secondary grades went to class in the annexes.

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