Half-Million Loss at Lumberyard Fire

Half-Million Loss at Lumberyard Fire

Fire swept through nearly two-thirds of the 17-acre Wethersfield Lumber Company at Wethersfield, Conn., on May 20, in a general alarm fire that did damage estimated by fire officials at $500,000.

The general alarm brought fire fighting apparatus from Hartford and five other communities to cope with the lumber-fed flames, which at times leaped more than 100 feet into the air. The fire raged out of control for two hours as it swept through three buildings and 20-foot stacks of new lumber. It was the worst fire in Wethersfield’s history.

Firemen of the Greater Hartford area are shown fighting the general alarm fire at the Wethersfield Lumber Company, Wethersfield, Conn., on May 20. The fire, which caused damage estimated at $500,000, raged out of control for two hours.

The fire was discovered, near the hopper room of a building housing milling machinery, at 6:40 p.m., by John Redmond, a watchman, who turned in a call for fire apparatus. The leaping flames and vast volume of smoke in the early evening sky drew a crowd estimated at the peak of the blaze at 10,000.

Power lines near the property parted as they were licked by the leaping flames. Connecticut Power Company high tension lines were downed along with lines of the Hartford Electric Light Company.

The building in which the fire started was in the southeast corner of the 17acre yard. The blaze was carried through the yard by a southwest wind as fire fighters worked to cut a firebreak in the stacks of lumber. At 9 p.m., when fire officials declared the fire under control, the mill building where the fire started was gone, and so were the two one-and-one-half story main sheds with their entire stock of dried lumber.

The general alarm was sounded shortly after 6:55 p.m. Additional help came from Rocky Hill, Hartford, Windsor, Windsor Locks, Cheshire and Poquonock.

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