Williamsport, MD Fire, Mar 1882

Fire at Williamsport – Three Houses Destroyed. – Our neighboring town of Williamsport was on Sunday last the scene of another destructive fire. About half-past three in the afternoon a fire broke out in a two-story log house on Potomac street, owned and occupied by a lady named Besore. – The alarm was promptly given and the citizens turned out en masse, but the town being without any fire apparatus, the house of highly combustible material, and a heavy south wind blowing at the time the progress of the flames were soon beyond control. – Fire speedily communicated to the building of John Montgomery on the west and John Barry on the east. The frame house on the opposite side of the street occupied by Isaac Dodd, as well as the house owned and occupied by Frank Newcomer, on the west and adjoining the Montgomery building, also took fire, but by the exertion of the citizens both houses were saved with slight damage. The origin of the fire in not certainly known, but it is supposed to have originated from a defective chimney and was first discovered in the roof of the Besore building. The houses destroyed were occupied by six families, Mrs. Jacob Besore, Joseph, Thomas and Lee Montgomery, Mrs. Meads and Rachael Poffenberger. Mrs. Adam Long moved out of the Barry building on Saturday and so escaped the fire. These families, all in moderate circumstances, lost nearly all their furniture and personal effects and the loss will be severely felt by them. Mr. Barry had an insurance of $500 on his building, with Armstrong & Bitner, insurance agents of this town, but the other two were not insured. The total loss will probably amount to $2,500.

During the progress of the fire two men – Mr. Jack Long and Mr. John Wilson – were hurt by falling bricks from a chimney. Mr. Long’s [sic] injuries are quite serious, but at last accounts he was doing well.

The Herald and Torch Light, Hagerstown, MD 29 Mar 1882