lacksmith Shop Fire, 1910.
The most disastrous fire that has ever visited Mr. Blanchard occurred here Friday afternoon. The fire started in the loft of Milt Hammond's blacksmith shop and is supposed to have originated from a spark.
It was first seen by Mrs. Hammond, she noticing a small blaze emitting from the roof. She gave the alarm, but before anything could be done the entire building was in flames, and quickly spread to the furniture store of J.W. Richcreek close by. The residence of J.W. Edie, across the street from the furniture store also caught fire from the heat of the burning buildings.
The high wind, which was blowing a strong gale from the northwest, fanned the fire, making the fighting of the flames difficult on account of the extreme heat.
The blacksmith shop of Mr. Hammond, where the fire originated was a frame structure, and quickly burned together with all the tools. Mr. Hammond was shoeing a horse at the time the fire was discovered, and it was with difficulty that the horse was gotten out. A queer feature is that Mr. Hammond, together with six other men were in the shop at the time the fire broke out, not one of them hearing a single sound that would lead to the discovery of the fire. The damage to Mr. Hammond's residence to the north of the shop was slight.
The fine bird dog owned by Mr. Hammond together with one of ther puppies that were in the loft were burned.
Mr. Hammond's loss will be between $700 and $1000 with no insurance.
A gang of men went to work Monday morning to erect a temporary shop for Mr. Hammond on the old site and that has been completed and he opened up for business again Wednesday morning.
The furniture store of J.W. Richcreek's,2 a two story frame building, was totally destroyed, together with all the contents upstairs and part below. The papers, etc. that were in Mr. Richcreek's safe when it was opened Saturday were found to be in fair condition, so that they can be made out. His loss on the stock of goods will be about &1700, and on the building will be about $800, which will be total and he carried no insurance.
Mr. Richcreek stated to the Journal Saturday that he did not intend to continue business in Mt. Blanchard but had not decided as yet what he would do.
The fire jumped across the street from the furniture store to the residence of J.W. Edie, and burned the entire north side of the residence and it was with difficulty that the house was saved at all. Mr Edie's household goods were removed from the burning building, but were taken back after the fire had been extinguished. Mr. Edie's loss was fully covered by insurance.
The People's Telephone Co.'s lines and cables were burned down and communication to the south was cut off. Their loss will be about $150.
The residences and barns of Rev. J.W. Miller, Mrs. Sarah Sheffer, and H. Gorsuch were on fire at different times as well as the barns of O. Stewart and Elmer Howard, but very little damage was done to any of the buildings. It is said that at one time there were twelve buildings on fire, but the excellent work of the volunteer fire department and bucket brigade saved thousands of dollars worth of property.
The citizens of Mt. Blanchard and vicinity deserve great praise for the way they turned out and helped in any way possible. The ladies also come in for their share, for as many of the men gave out or became overheated, they would take their place and carried water to pour on the flames.
The fire of Friday afternoon shows the necessity that the fire engine should be tested at regular intervals, and kept in good working order, for it was fully 15 minutes, right at a time when the fire was gaining headway, before it could be gotten in working order. The council should look after this and see that it is done.
1The Mount Blanchard Journal (Mt. Blanchard, OH) 1 Apr 1910.
2There was a John Richcreek and his wife, Elisabeth, on the 1880 census of Marion township, Hancock county, Ohio. He was listed as a farmer approxiamtely 32 years of age.