Portsmouth, NH North Church Fire, Jan 1902


Shortly before seven o'clock Sunday evening, as the gas fixtures in the North church were being lighted in preparation for the evening service, one of the evergreen festoons left from the Christmas decorations caught fire. In a second the blaze had spread along the entire section of the gallery and a serious fire was averted only by the prompt action of the sexton, who cut away the festoons and allowed them to drop into the pews beneath. The front of the gallery was badly scorched, and where the blazing festoons dropped into the pews some of the cushions were set on fire.

Portsmouth Herald, Portsmouth, NH 6 Jan 1902