Wallingford, CT Temperance Hall Fire, Feb 1885


NEW-HAVEN, Conn., Feb. 19.---A fire which broke out at 2 o'clock this morning in Wallingford destroyed Temperance Hall, belonging to Jared Q. Kimberly, Perkins & Maynes, Philip Finnegan, and Patrick McKenna. The loss reaches over $10,000. John S. Jackson, a man over 60 years of age, who was sleeping in an upper story of one of the buildings, was burned to death. His charred remains were found this afternoon in a hallway in a lower part of the house. The old man, who had been sick for some weeks, had evidently risen from his bed and crawled down stairs, until, overcome by smoke, he fell exhausted within a few feet of the open air. All the flesh was burned from the bones. It was known that Jackson roomed in the building, and one of the firemen while the fire was at its height risked his life by rushing into the building to seek him. Half suffocated by the smoke the fireman came upon what seemed to be a man, and grasping the object firmly descended to the ground nearly exhausted. What was rescued proved to be a clothed dummy, which had been stored in the building by a clothing merchant. While the flames were at their height a heavy explosion occurred, shaking Temperance Hall and the adjoining buildings. This is the fourth suspicious fire at Wallingford within the past fortnight.

The New York Times, New York, NY 20 Feb 1885