Old Orchard, ME Fire, Aug 1907 - Hotels & Cottages in Ruins


Three Score Hotels and Cottages Are in Ruins.


Half of the Well-Known Summer Resort on the Maine Coast is in Ashes
Strong Wind Fans the Flames- Loss $750,000.

Old Orchard, Me., Aug. 16-One-half of Old Orchard’s summer hotel section along the shore front was swept by fire last night, the loss probably amounting to fully half a million dollars.

It is reported that three men were killed by dynamite used in blowing up buildings to stop the progress of the flames.

The Boston and Maine railroad station was blown up by dynamite to arrest the fire in that direction.

The Hotel Fisk, one of the finest on the beach, valued at $50,000; the Hotel Emerson, valued at $75,000, with its furnishings; the Hotel Seashore, the Hotel Alberta, the Aldine, the Lawrence House and half a dozen smaller hotels, together with about 50 cotages [sic], were destroyed within two hours. All the buildings are of wooden construction and before the flames, fanned by a southwest breeze, were an easy prey.

The Old Orchard Fire Department was utterly unable to handle the blaze, and the firemen from Portland, Biddeford and Saco, who responded to calls for assistance, were hampered for sometime after their arrival by difficulty with the hose couplings.

At 10:55 o’clock, in spite of all efforts, the fire was still spreading to eastward and seemed likely to be stopped only when it had exhausted the material on which it could feed in that direction.

The fire was discovered about 8 o’clock in the upper part of the Olympia Hotel annex, which was occupied mainly by servants employed in the Hotel Emerson.

Loss $750,000.
By United Press.

Old Orchard, Me., Aug 16-Twenty relief trains arrived today to come to the aid between three and four thousand refugees who were driven from their homes last night by fire, forcing them to camp on the beach. The loss reaches $750,000. People are scouring the ruins for valuables today.

Evening Times, Cumberland, MD 16 Aug 1907