Fire at Presque Isle.
At Presque Isle, Me., on June 7, the entire northeasterly section of the village, comprising the district where were situated the best residences, was swept by an evening fire, a high wind carrying flames and embers from street to street until thirty-five dwcllinghouses, the Congregational church, Masonic hall and several other strucures had been totally destroyed. Aid was sent from Houlton and Fort Fairfield; but volunteers from these places found most of the buildings in the district destroyed and little left for the fire to feed on when they reached the scene. The wind carried the flames towards the open country, otherwise the business section of the village would have been wiped out. The fire started in a dwellinghouse in North Main street and destroyed many houses on that street, Blake street and Third street, the local volunteer firemen struggling vainly to arrest its progress. On one side of the burned area was the yard of the Canadian Pacific railway. Here the railway station and two large storehouses for potatoes were burned. The total loss is estimated at from $75,000 to $100,000. Caribou was unable to send assistance to Presque Isle, because of a blaze there, which destroyed J. S. Getchell & Sons’ foundry, machine shops and contents, and for a time threatened other buildings. Getchell & Sons’ property and machinery sent to their plant for repairs were valued at $30,000. Although there were several accidents they were all of a minor nature, and a number of men were exhausted from their efforts in fighting the fires, no one was fatally hurt. Outside assistance and a favorable wind saved the town from more extensive damage. The conflagration is the worst of its kind in Maine since 1903, when the town of Houlton, also in Aroostook county, lost about as many buildings and suffered a heavier damage, the buildings including a number of business and more expensive structures. The Presque Isle residences destroyed averaged about $2,000 each, exclusive of their contents. The ruined area covers about half of a >quare mile, and includes North Main street, Allen street, Third street, Blake street and South street to Main street. Between five hundred and one thousand people were rendered homeless. The fire spread to the woods, and a forest fire resulted.
The Lincoln county courthouse at Brookhaven. Miss., where there is no fire protection, was badly damaged by fire and water, with a loss of $10,000 or $12,000.