Campground Fire at Sterling, Mass.
Fire which swept through the most thickly built-up section of the Summer Campgrounds at Sterling Junction shortly after midnight June 17, destroyed 41 cottages, five chapels and four other buildings, and did damage estimated at $60,000. The Sterling tire department was unable to handle so large a fire, and sent to Worcester, 15 miles distant, for assistance. Chief W. N. Avery responded with two combination motor wagons. Hose 1. and 2. and more than 100 cottages were saved. Of the cottages destroyed 15 were occupied. The gasoline engine of 400 gallons capacity, drafted from a brook and played up hill through 2,000 feet of hose, and had only one stream for a ten-stream fire. All the buildings were of wooden construction. An overturned lamp caused the fire. Engine 7 of Worcester started, hut was stopped en route when the fire was under control. The fire started in the cottage of the superintendent of the grounds and swept with speed and fury over an area of about four acres, densely covered with frame structures, and leaving an absolutely clean path, dotted only with the remains of stoves and iron beds. The residents in cottages in other sections of the grounds express the greatest wonder that all of the approximately 250 cottages were not destroyed. What wind there was came from the west, and the fire swept a distance of about 900 feet. It was at once seen that the chemical extinguishers on the grounds were not sufficient with which to battle with the flames, and asistance from Sterling Center, Worcester. Clinton and Leominster was summoned. From Leominster came a motor hose chemical wagon and from Clinton a steamer and hose wagon.