Columbus City, IN Dry Goods Store Fire, Mar 1909


Maynard Store Loses $15,000 Stock by Fire Monday Night.

(By Kist News Bureau.)

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind., March 2.----The biggest fire this city has known in more than ten years broke out in the Maynard dry goods store in the Central block. Immediately opposite the court house, last night about 12:30 o'clock . The $15,000 stock is practically ruined by fire and water and the Kraus & Apfelbaum building, in which the store is located, was damaged at least $1,000.

The alarm was sounded by Policeman C. L. McCuen, who was making his regular rounds and passing the store noticed the blaze and smoke at the rear of the store.

The fire originated apparently from a hard coal stove in the southwest part of the main store room on the first floor, and before the firemen arrived, the room was filled with dense smoke emanating from the burning floor, fixtures and dry goods. The smoke was so dense that the firemen were unable at first to exactly locate the seat of the fire, but they poured water into the first floor room and the second as well until the fire was entirely extinguished.

The building, which is owned by Kraus & Apfelbaum, had been newly remodeled and refinished. It is the west part of the Central block and is a three-story building, with the Maynard store on the first and second floors and a portion of the I. O. O. F. hall on the third floor. Only the Jones Hardware company's store intervenes between the Maynard store and the First National bank on the east, and the room occupied by the Henry Strauss saloon is on the west. Only the hollow brick walls on either side saved great damage to these adjoining buildings. Nothing in the Jones hardware or in the saloon was damaged. The Post Printing company's office, the I. O. O. F. hall, Whicker's real estate office. Miss A. A. Lawrence's abstract office, the Hoos' barber shop likewise escaped damage.

The proprietor, John U. Maynard, who recently bought out the store, which has been operated for years by the firm of Lancaster Brothers & Co., was absent at the time of the fire and was at Indianapolis. He was called by telephone by his daughter, Miss Blanche, who had charge of the store during his absence, and he returned home at noon to-day.

Mr. Maynard carried insurance on his stock to the amount of $10,500, but his loss will easily exceed that amount by $5,000. He recently disposed of a large part of his old stock at a special sale but his spring orders having been coming in and his stock amounted to about $16,000.

Messrs. Kraus & Apfelbaum had $4,500 insurance on the building and the loss and damage in above $1,000.

The fire doubtless originated from an explosion caused by the gases in the hard coal stove which was closed carefully by one of the clerks when the store was closed for the night.

Mr. Maynard will continue the business as heretofore and will soon have an entirely new stock of goods in the establishment.

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, IN 3 Mar 1909