Kingstree, SC Main Street Fire, Dec 1910


Saturday at midday the alarm of fire resounded through the town, and a volume of smoke belched forth from the store occupied by L.D. Rodgers & Co. on Main Street. In a very short time the two new chemical engines were hurried to the scene, holding the fiery monster in check until the old reliable "Our Pet," could be unlimbered and brought into action. For some time it was nip and tuck between the two forces, and hundreds of people looked on with bated breath, expecting to see this whole street of fine new mercantile buildings reduced to ashes. But by the heroic work of the gallant fire laddies under the leadership of chief M.H. Jacobs and a dozen or more lieutenants, the flames were reduced and gradually subdued. "Our Pet" responded nobly to the demands upon her and propelled by brawny hands of volunteer firemen, the steam propelled would have done credit to that thrown by a big "steamer" of a city's fire department. The wisdom of digging the large reservoir was strikingly shown for had the water failed at a critical time, the fire would have gained the mastery, and there is no telling what damage might have resulted. The fire department deserves great praise for its splendid work, and the colored people, too, worked like Trojans pumping the water into the hose; much commendation is due them for their effective aid to the fire department. The fire started in the store of L.D. Rodgers & Co. Mr Rodgers, it is said, was showing some fire-works to a customer when by some means a fire-cracker ignited and exploded, setting fire to many others. Before anything could be done, the store was in a light blaze. Mr. Rodgers stock, valued at $6,000, was almost entirely destroyed with only $2,500 insurance. The store, which belongs to the estate of W.J. Singletary and was valued at $4,000, while badly damaged, is amply protected by the $2,500 insurance carried. Everyone sympathizes with Mr. Rodgers who is the heaviest loser. To a young man just establishing himself in business, the loss falls heavily indeed; but with energy and industry and a good reputation as assets that cannot be destroyed by fire, those who know him feel sure that he will soon overcome this temporary back-set and recoup his loss. It was a dangerous fire and while bad enough as it is, the town is to be congratulated on its narrow escape from a disastrous conflagration.

The County Record