Girard, PA Opera House Fire, Dec 1886

Girard PA  Postcard of South Park.jpg Girard PA Main Street View 1905.jpg

A VILLAGE SWEPT BY FIRE.

THE OPERA HOUSE AT GIRARD AND OTHER BUILDINGS DESTROYED.

Erie, Penn., Dec. 31. -- The thrifty little borough of Girard, the home of DAN RICE, had a large section of it wiped out by fire this morning. The flames had their origin in the apartments occupied by FRANK KOHLMORGEN, in the GEORGE KEBLER Block. KOHLMORGEN and family were rescued with much difficulty and the baby by some oversight left behind. Its cries attracted the attention of the rescuing party, who saved it, though its life is yet in danger. The fire spread and swept through the Opera House just completed. The Fire Department, recently provided with a chemical engine, were unable to do anything to stay the progress of the flames, and in their frantic efforts turned a stream of chemicals into the faces of the men who were engaged in saving goods and almost blinded them, inflicting serious injury in several instances. The fire spread east and west and took out a block before it burned itself out. The following business houses and buildings were destroyed:
Opera House, belonging to GEORGE KEBLER, and two-story frame store; loss, $30,000; insurance, $5,000, divided between the Lancashire of England, Orient of Hartford, and the County of Philadelphia, JACOB KEBLER building, $1,000.
H. BEEKMAN, loss on clothing stock, $500.
FRANK WILLIAMS, loss on merchandise, $500.
J. KEBLER, meat market, $500.
GEORGE VANTASSEL, tinshop, $500.
H. MACKENTYRE, barber's shop, $200.
VAN CAMP, harness shop, $500.
P. N. WEBER, furniture, $200.
F. KOHLMORGEN, $900.
J. CROSS, building, $5,000.
Other losses in buildings and in moving goods foot up an aggregate loss of $50,000. The people were paralyzed with fear and did nothing to save their town. There was no insurance except that on the Opera House.

The New York Times New York 1887-01-01