MILLION-DOLLAR FIRE IN BOSTON HARBOR.
On the night of July 5 the immense grain elevator of the Boston and Maine Railroad company, with the company’s freighthouses Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on piers 1 and 2, Mystic wharf, Charlestown, were burned, entailing a loss that will exceed $1,000,000. During the fire two lives are known to have been lost. Eleven sailors of the Allan line steamer Austrian, which was lying at pier 1, jumped overboard to save themselves from the flames, which had communicated to the vessel, and Fred McKenzie and James Gallagher were drowned. The other men were picked up by tugboats and removed to the Marine Hospital at Chelsea. None of them suffered seriously. One of the wharf employes is also reported as missing. Before the fire on board the Austrian could be got under control by the fleet of tugboats that had hauled her out into the stream, all her upper works had been burned to her deck. The steamer arrived on July 4 and had discharged a part of her cargo, which included $30,000 worth of Scotch whisky; that portion was burned in the freighthouse. The fire started after 5 o’clock during a heavy thunder storm, when a bolt of lightning struck the northeast end of freighthouse No. 2, in which was stored a quantity of hay. In an instant the flames shot in either direction, quickly communicating to houses Nos. 1 and 3, and from the latter to the big elevator building farther west. The larger part of the fire apparatus of the city was summoned, and efforts directed to saving adjoining property. The elevator and freight shed were in close proximity to the bridge connecting Chelsea and Boston, and so intense was the heat that for several hundred feet along the side nearer the burning buildings, the bridge was badly burned and its piers charred. Fortunately, it was a dead calm, and the great shower of sparks and smoke arose almost perpendicularly, thus failing to reach the other freighthouses of the company on the adjacent piers. The elevator, which was built about ten years ago, was said to be the largest in existence at that time, having a capacity of 2,000,000 bushels; but, as near as can be figured, it held not over 100,000 bushels of grain, chiefly wheat, on Tuesday last. The buildings on the pier, with their contents, are a total loss, and the wharf itself is practically ruined. The loss on the elevator will be at least $400,000. and on the contents $100,000 more. Losses on the freighthouses, their contents, their pier and to the steamer Austrian will easily swell the total to more than $1,000,000. Among the steamship companies who will suffer losses on freight destroyed are the Allan line, ScandinaviauAmerican line and the Wilson line, the ScandinavianAmerican company losing 104 bales of goat skins, valued at $20,000.
When Columbia, S. C., has finally made up its mind as to the source of its new water supply, and divested the question of its political aspect, it may be able to begin the construction of the system before very many more months have passed.