Pittsburgh, PA Business District Fire, Jan 1917
$2,500,000 IS FIRE LOSS.
PITTSBURGH RETAIL BUSINESS DISTRICT SUFFERS HEAVILY.
FOUR FIREMEN ARE SERIOUSLY HURT AND A DOZEN OTHERS REMOVED TO HOSPITALS.
Pittsburgh, Jan. 27. -- Fire, which swept through a section of the retail business district here today, destroyed the Frank & Seder department store, the Grand Opera House, the Hilton Clothing Company and a dozen or more smaller buildings, with a loss estimated at $2,500,000. Four firemen were seriously hurt and a dozen or more so badly injured that they were removed to hospitals.
It appeared for a time as though the fire would sweep the entire square, but heavy fire walls, built in anticipation of such an eventuality, finally stayed the progress of the flames, which ate through the hundreds of tons of merchandise piled in the stricken buildings.
The fire is said to have started in the J. C. McCrory & Co. 5 and 10 cent store, soon after midnight, but gave the firemen no concern until shortly after 4 o'clock, when it had eaten its way into the Frank & Sader store. A general alarm was then turned in, but the flames, hidden from view by dense clouds of smoke, had made such progress into the adjacent buildings that they were seen to be doomed. Firemen were seriously handicapped by the intense cold, it having been necessary to carry hot water from neighboring restaurants to thaw street hydrants before streams under pressure were available.
The fire ate its way down Fifth Avenue from Smithfield Street toward Wood Street and, breaking windows in buildings across Fifth Avenue, drove scores of guests from their rooms in the Newell Hotel.
Washington Post District of Columbia 1917-01-28