Skip to Content

Charlottetown, PEI School Buildings Burn, Feb 1932

Charlottetown PEI Prince of Wales College Fire.jpg

$250,000 FIRE IN SCHOOL BUILDINGS IN CHARLOTTETOWN.

PRINCE OF WALES COLLEGE AND PROVINCIAL NORMAL SCHOOL COMPLETELY DESTROYED.

(Canadian Press Despatch.)
Charlottetown, P.E.I., Feb. 8. -- A crumbled mass of brick and stone stood, Saturday, in place of Prince of Wales college and the Provincial Normal school. Property damage was $250,000 in the fire which left 370 students without classrooms, and destroyed the second large government institution to burn down within two months.
So rapid were the flames advance that caretaker PATRICK RYAN, with his wife and two children, had difficulty in escaping from the burning building, reaching the street in their night clothing.
The fire was discovered shortly after 3 o'clock. Despite efforts of firemen the blaze made rapid progress. It had eaten its way far into the middle of the building and two hours after its discovery the institution was a blazing, crumbling ruin. No explanation for the fire has yet been offered.
Charlottetown has been hard hit by fire in the last two months. On December 14, Falconbridge hospital for the insane burned down with a loss of eight lives and property damage of $500,000, incompletely covered by insurance. Two fires of major importance have occurred there in the business district since that date, bringing the total recent loss to about $1,000,000.
The two-story brick and stone building's isolation in the centre of its grounds probably saved surrounding buildings. There was no wind to fan the flames.
Prince of Wales college was founded in 1860, and named in honor of King Edward VII, then Prince of Wales. The present building, housing also the provincial normal school, was erected in 1900, and extended under the Sir William McDonald Grants in 1907. Insurance amounted to $160,000.
Members of the provincial government and directors of the institution met Saturday in an effort to make arrangements for the carrying on of college work in halls and in the city schools for the remainder of the year.

Winnipeg Free Press Manitoba 1932-02-08



article | by Dr. Radut