Hawarden, IA Parochial School Fire, Mar 1911
SERIOUS SCHOOL FIRE.
ST. ANTHONY'S SCHOOL ALMOST DESTROYED.
FIRE BREAKS OUT IN THE ROOF AND FANNED BY FIERCE GALE SOON WRECKS BIG BUILDING.
St. Anthony's parochial school in this city was practically destroyed by fire during the high gale which prevailed Wednesday morning. The fire was discovered shortly after nine o'clock issuing from the roof of the south end of the building. The wind was blowing a perfect gale and the fire had gained such headway that there was little hope of saving the building. The children were all marched from the burning building in perfect order and no excitement prevailed while this was being accomplished.
While the fire department was busy getting two lines of hose laid to othe fire the citizens were busy saving what clothing and furniture they could from the flames. The fire proved to be one of the most stubborn that the Hawarden firemen have had to contend against and not until the entire roof was burned off and the interior of the building on the second floor was wrecked were they able to subdue the flames. The extreme cold froze the clothing of the firemen to a solid mass of ice and the wind made it difficult to scale the walls. But thus handicapped they continued the fight for over three hours and again gave evidence that Hawarden has one of the best volunteer fire companies in the state.
The children who made their home at the school had their rooms on the third floor and most of them lost all of their clothing and keepsakes. The Sisters also lost a large portion of their clothing and other valuables. The furniture on the upper floors was a total loss. While nearly everything on the lower floors was carried out, much of it was damaged in the hurried efforts to save it. Insurance to the amount of $4,500 was carried on the building and contents but this sum will not pay the large loss sustained.
The origin of the fire in unknown.
Efforts will be made at once to rebuild the school on a larger and better scale. A fire proof building may possibly take the place of the old frame structue. The Catholic school grounds are the most sightly in the city and it is to be hoped that the desires of the parishoners for a bigger and better building can be accomplished.
Arrangements have been made for the temporary use of the unoccupied rooms in the North side public school building and the Sisters hope to be able to resume their school work next Monday.
The Hawarden Independent Iowa 1911-03-16