Springfield, ME Fire, Apr 1905

FIRE CRIPPLES MAINE TOWN.

Springvale Loses Its Principal Industry in a Big Blaze.

SPRINGVALE, Me., April 14--The greater part of the business section of Springvale, together with many dwellings, was destroyed by fire to-day, entailing a loss estimated at from $250,000 to $300,000. The Portland Fire Department arrived in time to prevent the destruction of the village.

The fire started early in the day in the boot and shoe factory of W. R. Usher & Son, and spread with great rapidity. The fire-fighting facilities were wholly inadequate, and the town officials summoned aid from Portland, Sanford, and Alfred, and Rochester, N. H.

Among the structures destroyed were the Odd Fellows' Block, Western Union Telegraph office, New England Telephone Exchange. Tibbett's Hotel, and the Masonic Block. The Springvale House was saved by the firemen blowing up an adjoining building with dynamite.

The Usher Company's loss--$130,000--is covered by insurance, but it is feared that the firm will discontinue business here. In that event 800 persons, or nearly one-third of the population, will have to move elsewhere.

The New York Times, New York, NY 10 Apr 1905