Traer, IA Businesses Destroyed By Fire, Feb 1929

OIL AND GASOLINE STORES AID FIRES DESTRUCTION OF STORE AT TRAER.

HARDWARE STOCK IS NEARLY TOTAL LOSS IN FLAMES.

BUILDING PARTIALLY CONSUMED IN CONFLAGRATION BLAMED ON WIRING.

Traer, Ia., Feb. 23. -- Oil and gasoline stored in the rear of B. F. THOMAS & Son hardware store here fed flames which partially destroyed the building and its contents and blazed on the surface of water filled rooms long after the firemen had checked the fire elsewhere. Ruins still were a hazard this morning, despite an all-night vigil and the five heavy streams of water directed on the building for hours last night.
Gladbrook firemen came to the assistance of the local department and were of material assistance in battling the fire. A fireproof wall separating the store from First National bank and upstairs offices of THOMAS & THOMAS, attorneys, prevented spread into the adjoining building.

Think Electric Wiring Cause.
The means by which the fire originated have not been determined, but it is assumed that electric wires were to blame, as the flames started on the second floor. They were discovered by passersby about an hour after the store had closed shortly after 6 p.m. and were under control within two hours.
The rear section of the building collapsed, but the front walls proved more resistant and remained standing this morning. The damage to the stock in the retail room, near the street, probably will be confined to effects of the water. Two trucks stored in the rear of the building were destroyed.

Managed By Founder's Son.
The store, managed by JOHN L. THOMAS, son of the late B. F. THOMAS, who founded the institution and whose name is retained in the title of the business, is one of the veteran institutions of the town, its fortieth anniversary having occurred a few days ago.
The building and stock were valued at approximately $30,000 and insurance protection will probably reach three-fourths of that amount.
Two other sons of the founder, B. FRANK and ARTHUR THOMAS, constitute the law fire which occupies the adjoining building.

Waterloo Evening Courier Iowa 1929-02-23