Ottawa Suffers $150,000 Fire in St. Anne’s Hall
Church Edifice, School and Priest’s Residence Saved by Department Though Greatly Exposed — Much Valuable Property Saved—Record of Fires of Week
St. Anne’s Hall, Ottawa, Destroyed
Fire destroyed the St. Anne’s Hall situated on St. Patrick Street, Ottawa, Can., and did damage to the extent of $150,000 before it was brought under control. It was only with great difficulty that the firemen saved St. Anne’s Church, St. Anne’s School, the presbytery and adjoining houses from the onrush of flames. The “Cercle Sociale de St. Anne,” and upward of thirty other societies and trade unions are homeless, and practically all their equipment destroyed. Several of the firemen were overcome by smoke and had to be carried out while trying to place lines of hose in the alleyway between the church and hall, the smoke being very dense. They soon recovered and resumed their duties. The first alarm was sent in by a man on his way to work, who pulled Box 435, corner St. Patrick and Nelson Streets, which brought Chief J. W. Graham and Deputy Chief Lemieux, with Motor Engine Companies 2 and 3, Motor Hose Wagons 4, 5 and 6, with City Service Trucks 3 and 4. When the firemen arrived the whole block bounded by St. Patrick’s Chapel, Anglesea Square, and Augusta Streets, were filled by dense black smoke which made it difficult for them to locate the seat of the blaze, which was finally located in the basement and toward the center of the hall, and spreading rapidly through the walls and to the roof.
Chief Graham at once sent in a general alarm, which brought out Deputy Chief Burnett with Motor Engine Companies 2 and 8, Motor Hose Wagons 7, 8 and 9. with Trucks 2, 7 and 9. The department soon had fifteen streams playing on the fire from all vantage points. A heavy barrage of water was played between the church and hall which stood only six feet from the church, with the result that the church was scarcely damaged, even the beautiful stained glass windows facing the hall escaping. The church was filled with smoke and there will be slight damage from that cause, while the school and the houses which stood about six feet to the west were uninjured beyond an old shed slightly damaged by falling walls.
St. Anne’s Hall was practically a new building, having been erected in 1911. It was of brick veneer construction, with a wooden frame and steel supports. The timber was very dry and caused intense heat. The flames swept the main auditorium, and after bursting through the roof spread in all directions. The wall of the building with its Doric columns, facing Anglesea Square, was left intact, with part of the ground floor at the extreme front. The part of the basement containing the billiard tables and bowling alleys was flooded with water to the depth of four feet. The walls on St. Patrick Street were left standing, but the side walls collapsed for some distance. Though greatly exposed to the flames, St. Anne’s School, at the corner of Chapel and Anglesea Square escaped damage, and the priest’s residence at the rear of the church and to the right of the entrance of the hall facing Anglesea Square was untouched by fire or water. Extensive repairs were recently made to St. Anne’s Hall.
The Rev. Father Myrand placed the estimate of the loss at $150,000. He expressed his gratefulness to the firemen for the excellent work in preventing the church from being damaged. ‘‘No doubt the loss would have been much greater had it not been for their splendid efforts,” he affirmed. Alderman A. W. Desjardins also commended the work of the fire department.