Conflagration at Hampton Beach

Conflagration at Hampton Beach

A church, two theatres and several blocks of buildings, mostly wooden structures, were destroyed at Hampton Beach, N. H., on September 23, when fire carried by a brisk wind swept over a half-mile area, doing damage estimated at from $200,000 to $250,000. Children playing with matches beneath a piazza arc believed to have started the fire It was discovered shortly before 5 p. m. and within four hours the entire beach front along Ocean avenue was a mass of ruins. Cottages were dynamited and other methods used to check the flames but proved of no avail in the face of a hurricane. The fortunate shifting of the wind oceanward enabled the firemen to save most of the summer colonv from destruction. Firemen from Exeter, N. H., Portsmouth, N. H., and Amesbury, Mass., responded to calls for help. A chemical apparatus from Amesbury and 45 men under Chief James E. Feltham arrived when the fire was at its height but practically nothing could be done. About 8 o’clock, after the wind had shifted all of the apparatus on hand made a final stand at Highland avenue. With crews of men dynamiting to the rear of them, the men manning the apparatus brought every available stream of water to play on the Ashcroft Hotel and the buildings and cottages on the south side of Highland avenue, and it was there that the fire was finally checked after 45 buildings had been destroyed.

Scene at Hampton Beach When Fire Was at its Height.

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