Old Orchard, ME Fire, Aug 1907 - Dead, Injured; Losses

Old Orchard, Aug. 16.-Every train out of Old Orchard today carried away hundreds of summer guests rendered shelterless [sic] by last night’s fire, and tonight a greater number had departed for their homes, carrying with them such of their effects as they were able to save.

The piles of baggage which encumbered the station and the sidewalks leading to it were greatly diminished by the means of hard work on an extra force of railroad officers sent here, but along the beach above high water mark and on the lawn of the Old Orchard House and other unburned hotels, there were still many trunks, bags and boxes awaiting their removal.

While the sufferers by the fire made all haste in leaving town, the influx of visitors from nearby places was larger than on any previous day of the summer, thousands of people coming to the beach to view the ruins. Trolley cars and trains alike were filled all day with the incoming throngs.

No efforts made toward the clearing away the debris today, but it is expected by tomorrow the tall chimneys which still stand here and there in the midst of the ash piles which represent all that is left of the structure which enclosed them, will be toppled over.

No plans for re-building the big hotels have been announced as yet, most of the proprietors being still too much dazed by the suddenness of their loss to take any definite action in this respect. Estimates of the loss varied today from half a million to $800,000. The insurance does not exceed $200,000.

The number of deaths from the soda tank explosion during the fire was increased to two tonight when PHILLIP PERRAULT of Foss street, Biddeford, died at the Webber hospital in that city from the injuries he received. PERRAULT was 40 years old. A widow and seven children survive.

The condition of Rev. Rufus H. Jones, pastor of Trinity Episcopal church, Saco, whose skull was fractured by a flying fragment of the exploded tank, remained extremely critical tonight. Rev. Mr. Jones is at the Trull hospital in Biddeford. Late, this afternoon an operation was performer [sic] upon his skull and after it the physicians said the patient seemed to show a slight improvement.

The other inured ones were reported as fairly comfortable at the two Biddeford hospitals tonight.

Early this evening Coroner Bradford of Saco, who had charge of the body of the unknown man, whose head was blown off by the explosion, announced that it had been fully identified as that of Dominick LeBreque, a clerk in a Portland store. He are 32 years of age and unmarried. The coroner deemed an inquest uncalled for and gave a permit for the removal of the body.

The full list of the dead and injured is as follows:

PHILLIP PARTRIDGE, 24 years ole, Pittsburg, Pa., struck and killed by a Boston & Maine train at Kennebunk while on his way to the fire.

DOMINICK LEBREQUE, Portland, aged 32, instantly killed by explosion of a soda tank.

PHILLIP PERRAULT, Biddeford, 40 years old, dead at hospital from injuries sustained through the tank explosion.

The injured:

Rev. Rufus H. Jones, pastor of Trinity Episcopal church, Saco; at Trull hospital, suffering from compound fracture of the skull due to tank explosion.

Melvin T. Morrill, Salem, Mass., Boston & Maine engineer, visiting friends, left leg fractured and collar bone broken by soda tank explosion.

An unidentified man, probably fatally hurt by tank explosion; unconscious since the accident; nothing in his clothing to show identity.

Samuel Emerson, of Old Orchard, 65 years old, father of Wm. T. Emerson, manager of the Hotel Emerson, found unconscious in the street from tank explosion.

Miss Alice Minard, Pittsburg, Pa., severely bruised by being thrown from carriage at Kennebunk while on way to Old Orchard with PHILLIP PARTRIDGE, who was killed.