Patterson, NJ Fire, Feb 1902
PATERSON LAID WASTE BY FIRE
Business Section and a Hundred
LOSS ABOUT $8,000,000
Banks, Churches, Hotels, Municipal
Buildings, and Newspaper
Offices in Ruins
MARTIAL LAW PROCLAIMED
Police Reinforced by Soldiers and
Citizens — No Lives Lost and No One
Seriously Injured Despite Rapidity
with Which the Conflagration
PATTERSON, N.J., Feb. 9 - A fire in Paterson yesterday that laid waste the principal business
portion of the city, destroying there
about fifty buildings, and then jumped
over more than a third of a mile and
razed to the ground a hundred dwellings
did damage that is conservatively estimated
at about $8,000,000. The fire was
caused by an overheated stove in a trolley car barn, and the fierce wind that was blowing spread the flames with such rapidity that the firemen could not cope with them.
The blaze started shortly after midnight and raged In the business part of the town all through the early hours of the morning. Relief was sent from a
number of neighboring cities, and this relief prevented the destruction from attaining still more disastrous proportions.
At about 6 o'clock in the morning, the
second fire started up and it was not
until noon that the general situation
might be said to have been under control.
The police of Paterson were utterly unable
to deal with the situation, and Gov.
Franklin Murphy of New Jersey called
out several companies of the National
Guard to guard the devastated districts
last night. Mayor Hinchcliffe worked
heroically all day long to rehabilitate the
City Government, which the fire had deprived
of a home. He announced lastnight that although many people were made homeless, they were not poor people
and would be able to care for themselves.
No aid would be asked of other places.
In spite of the terrible destruction, not
a life was lost, and even the injuries are
not of very serious extent.
THE SCENE OF DESTRUCTION
Desolate Waste of Blackened Ruins
Marks the Site of the City's
Special to The New York Times.
PATERSON, N. J., Feb. 9 — Seven full city blocks that once contained the chief business portion of the city are guarded in their complete darkness to-night by
troops of the National Guard, and only
smoldering ruins, from which now and
then little blazes start up and silhouette a
gaunt wall or a lone pier against the sky,
remain of what was last night Paterson's
Her National banks, her leading churches, her splendid Hamilton Club, her City Hall, her Public Library, her principal stores, her newspaper offices, her best hotels are but piles of smoking, steaming debris. The sweep of the fire was clean, and in its
chosen district left absolutely nothing inflammable
to claim the enjoyment of any community.
But the business section of the city was not alone the object of destruction. More than a third of a mile away a desolate stretch of brick and stone piled in indiscriminate heaps is all that remains of what
were a hundred homes of well-to-do citizens.
In all this waste of a dozen or more
city blocks, in mere territory, it is possible
to identify only a tombstone shop, and
that only by the marble slabs that remain,
among the many small business establishments
in this section.
Feb. 10 edition of The New York Times