Fires & Explosions

Rock County, Wisconsin

Date

Fire

1848 - May 7 Hodson Brewery & home of William Hodson, Janesville
1850 Richardson Mill, on the raceway, Janesville
1853 - April Stevens House, Janesville
1865 - Nov. Janesville Steam Brewery
1867 - Jan. 12 Hyatt House, Janesville; maid Maggie Emerson dies
1868 (Abt.) Rufus M. Hollister of Janesville lost thirty-seven U.S. bonds in a fire (house or business fire?)
1868 American House, Janesville
1870 - April 15 William Schenck home struck by lightning & burned to ground (Sect. 27, La Prairie Twp.)
1871 - June 29 "Big Mill" (a Janesville flour at the west end of today's Milwaukee Street Bridge)
1872 Janesville Steam Brewery
Janesville ice skating rink (corner of S. Main & S. Second Sts.)
Elijah Hull lumberyard store in Lima Center
C&N Railway Passenger Depot (day after the ice skating rink fire)
1878 "old Williams house burned to the ground" in Janesville
1879 "First disastrous fire" in Clinton
1888 Wisconsin Shoe Co., Janesville
1889 - Feb. 20 Myers Opera House, Janesville
1897 - May 5 Henry Preston home, 1 miles south of the Manchester Free Church, is a total loss (insurance covered $400 of the estimated $800 loss)
1900 - June 15 Wisconsin Carriage Co. plant, Wall Street, Janesville
1900 - Sept. 10 Choate-Hollister Furniture Co., Janesville
1901 - March 25 Gasoline engine at Janesville Barbed Wire Co. explodes killing Jim Horn and Daniel Preller
1902 - Feb. 4 Janesville Street Railway Co. shops & barn
1902 - Feb. 23 F. M. Marzluff & Co. shoe factory (estimated loss $55,000)
1902 - Jan. 30 Isabel Co. (estimated loss $30,000)
1904 - April 23 Janesville Art Study Co., near Monterey in Janesville
1908 - Jan. 18 Julius Marquese & Co. tobacco warehouse (estimatd loss $250,000); 3 firemen injured
1908 - March 5 L. L. Olds seed warehouse, Clinton (estimated loss $50,000)
1908 - July 31 Resseguie & Decker farms tobacco warehouse & other buildings, Milton Ave., Janesville (estimated loss $72,000)
1909 - Jan. 10 Christian church, Footville (estimated loss $4,000)
1909 - Oct. 11 Milton Junction acetylene gas plant explodes (estimated loss $3,000); no injuries
1910 - Jan. 9 Mrs. Julius Deitche & 2-year-old daughter, Tina, killed in kerosene fire explosion
1910 - July 13 Harden & Poleys butcher shop fire, Clinton
1911 - Jan. 9 Abel Fisher's tobacco warehouse, Janesville (estimated loss $30,000)
1911 - June 3 Hough Shade's paint shop, Janesville (estimated loss less than $1,000)
1911 - Aug. 10 Thunderstorm's lightning causes many barns in county to catch fire; livestock destroyed (estimated loss $12,000)
1912 - Jan. 21 Fire at Stowell Cottage, Beloit College campus; Miss Katherine Jeffris puts it out & rescues two other girls
1912 - Feb. 13 Bassett & Echlin saddlery plant, Janesville (estimated loss $140,000)
1912 - April 14 Doty & Feed Mill on Milwaukee St., Janesville (estimated loss $10,000)
1913 - April 1 Milwaukee St. bridge, Janesville
1913 - Sept. 8 St. Paul railway station, Milton (struck by lightning)
1914 - Dec. 31 Hotel, hardware store and H. B. Crandall meat market, Milton (estimated loss $10,000)
1915 - Feb. 23 Indianford's hydro-electric plant destroyed by fire
1915 - Nov. 2 Former home of Burr Robbins, Spring Brook, Janesville (estimated loss $1,500)
1920 - Dec. 5 Gas explosion in Beloit
1925 - March 2 Fire in Janesville; fireman Edward Lichtfus dies
1931 - Oct. 18 Fire in the WCLO studio in the Janesville Gazette building
1934 - Aug. 6 Fire destroys historic hotel on Thomas Frusher property in Union Twp.
1934 - Nov. 6 Fire causes smoke damage in beauty shop at 7½ East Main in Evansville
$10 damage from floor fire in White Star School in Porter Twp.
1937 Fire destroys North Milton Rural School
1948 - Jan. 14 Fire destroys Lima Center (Gates Bros. Lumber, Dadmun Feed Mill, Earl Reese's General Store, the post office and Della Bowers' home destroyed; town hall, telephone office and two welding & auto repair shop escape damage)
1948 - May 13 Two warehouses of the Green Tobacco Co., Janesville, burn ($750,000 damage - Janesville's most costly fire at the time)
1948 - July 19 Fire at Rural Electric Association office and Bowman Dairy, Janesville
1959 Schleuter Co., Janesville; fireman Bill Finnane dies; two others (Paul Finley & Lt. John Shea) injured
1963 - April 20 Fire at Pruden Products Co., Evansville (read article)

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Rock County Coordinator: Lori Niemuth
Last updated December 13, 2007
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