Super Market Destroyed
A large super market, located on Main Street in the town of Niantic, Connecticut, was completely destroyed by an early morning fire on November 1st, 1950. One fireman was severely injured during the fight to control the fire.
The fire was discovered by a passing motorist at 1:20 A.M. An alarm from Box 14 brought members and equipment of the Niantic fire department under the direction of Fire Chief LeGrand J. Hall to the scene. The entire rear section of the Friendly Market, a one-story wooden structure, was a mass of flames upon arrival and Chief Hall immediately sent out a call for assistance. The Flanders fire company located four miles to the north responded, arriving about 1:35 A.M.
Photo by William C. Peck
Hose lines were laid, and the fire was attacked from both sides, from the rear and through the front of the store. Lieut. Ronald Doane of the Niantic department received severe lacerations on his right hand when the plate glass door blew out as he was attempting to force an entrance.
Aided by the absence of any wind, mild temperature and a solid brick wall of the adjoining Connecticut Light and Power company building, the determined efforts of the firemen kept the fire confined to the super market. However the structure was practically levelled and the entire contents were destroyed.
Recently installed radio equipment proved to be a valuable contact between the apparatus at the fire and headquarters.
The building was used as a social center for troops stationed in Niantic during World War 1 and later housed bowling alleys.
Fire Marshal Joseph Bisbee of the town of East Lyme has asked the state fire marshal’s office to assist in the investigation to determine the cause of the fire. Damage was estimated at $25,000, making it one of the most damaging in the history of the town. The building, store fixtures and contents were covered by insurance.