Eks’ Building Destroyed
The three-story Eks’ Building on Main Street, Putnam, Conn., was completely destroyed by fire on March 14. with a loss estimated by Fire Chief George Harper at close to $1,000,000. Four business establishments in the same building were also destroyed.
Fire officials said a gas explosion in the basement boiley room started the blaze, which spread rapidly through the Danielson Jewelry Store, Burt’s Drug Store, Luchessi’s Fruit Store and Gerardi’s Haberdashery. The Elks occupied the second and third floors.
Fire Companies from Pomfret, Thompson, West Thompson and Woodstock assisted the Putnam Fire Department in fighting the fire, one of the most spectacular in the town’s history.
When the north wall of the building collapsed, it landed on the two-story Citizens National Bank, tearing a large hole in the roof. Considerable water damage to the bank occurred when firemen laid two lines of 2 1/2-inch hose over the opening in the bank’s yoof to get at the burning building.
Less than an hour before the fire was discovered, 200 members of the Elks’ lodge attended a meeting and entertainment. The blaze became so intense that for a time it was feared by firemen it would spread and destroy the entire business district. The building was erected in 1878. Rebuilding plans are being considered by Elks Lodge officeys.