Boston, MA Fire, Nov 1889


Disastrous Conflagration in Boston.


A Four Million Dollar Fire in the City's Heart.


Swallowed Up in Torrents of Flames---The Great Fire of '72 Nearly Duplicated---A List of the Losers---Insurance Companies Heavily Involved.

Boston, November 28.---A great fire raged here all the morning.  For a time it looked as if the entire district burned over in 1872 would go. At 8:15 o'clock flames were discovered in the mammoth stone building at the corner of Kingston and Bedford streets.  This is a building hitherto thought to be fire-proof, and recently they saw this fact very plainly when the flames began to leap up and out of the roof and windows towards the buildings on the other side of the street and to the buildings on Roe Place.  A second alarm was sent in at 8:30 o'clock, and at 9 o'clock a third alarm was rung.  In half an hour there was issued a general alarm, [illegible] brought engines from Cambridge, [illegible] and Chelsea.


From the very start there was little hope of the fire being stopped before it had consumed several buildings and, the firemen who had recently returned from the great Lynn fire, and wondered how in the world it could have gained such headway, found out how it is themselves.  At 9:45 steamer No. 1 and hose No. 2 were on the way from Taunton in answer to Chief Weber's call.  Shortly after 10 it looked as if the flames would advance without hindrance up Kingston to Summer street.  Brown, Durrell & Co.'s fine block, which a few minutes before had stood in all its magnificence, was soon a heap of glowing ruins upon whose edge stood a steamer, an aerial ladder and an hose carriage which had been abandoned in hot haste at the time the building collapsed.  The old building, No. 30 Kingston street, then began to light up, and the Brainerd & Armstrong Company's building at 35 was just catching.  A group of desperate fire fighters were being forced to recede inch by inch.  Stories were afloat of men who had been caught in the falling walls, and of other fatal accidents, but there was no time to verify these reports.  The building occupied by Bradford Thomas and the Ames building were next involved in the general destruction.

Eastward the fire at 9:30 o'clock had reached the Freedman building, on the corner of Lincoln and Bradford streets, while toward Washington street its limit at the same time was Chauncey street. Just before 10 o'clock assistance reached the scene from Cambridge, both in engines and hook and ladder trucks.  From the building occupied by Williams & Co., on the next corner South, and into Cluett, Koon & Co.'s building.  From the other side it caught almost at once from upon the buildings on Rowe Place, and the wind favored the supposition that the whole DRY GOODS DISTRICT WAS DOOMED.

Already every building has gone from Bedford street, along Kingston and Chauncey streets, and the flames were eating up those on the south side of Rowe Place.  On the east side of Chauncey street were the mammoth structures occupied as wholesale houses in the dry goods trade, and every endeavor was made to keep them from catching fire.  This endeavor was futile, however, and the flames rushed on in both directions.

The Wheeling Register, Wheeling, WV 29 Nov 1889