Canaan, NH Fire, Jun 1923

Canaan, NH After the Fire, photo from familyoldphotos.com Canaan, New Hampshire in Ruins after the Fire, 1923 Canaan, New Hampshire, Rebuilt a Year afther the Fire, June 1924


Children Playing With Matches Believed to Have Caused Conflagration -- Aid rushed to Stricken Village From Surrounding Country

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT., June 2--Two men were burned to death, another was probably fatally burned and a woman is missing in a fire which practically wiped out the village of Canaan, N. H., 18 miles from here, late today, according to reports to railroad officials here.

The fire started, according to latest reports, in a barn in the center of the village near the railroad. Children playing with matches were believed to have started the blaze. The first buildings to go were the freight and passenger stations of the Boston & Maine Railroad. The village has a population of 1,200.

More than 40 homes and stores including buildings of the Boston & Maine Railroad were destroyed before the fire burned itself out.

Railroad firemen reported the dead men were a father and son named Gilman. The name of the woman said to be missing was not known. Among the buildings burned was a hotel, which was destroyed soon after the fire started.

All telephone and telegraph lines were out of commission and the rails of the main line of the railroad were so warped and twisted by the heat that all traffic was stopped.

Fire fighting apparatus was rushed to the stricken village from here, Concord, Lebanon, Enfield and Franklin. By the time the engines made the long run over country roads the fire was nearly out. Boston & Maine linemen, rushed to the scene to repair wires, gave first details of the fire.

Men, women and children of the village, aided by farmers from the surrounding countryside, fought to save their belongings or took their places in the bucket brigade line. A wind of almost gale force was blowing at the time and the intense heat evaporated the buckets of water almost before it touched the burning buildings.

Surrounding towns are sending tents and blankets and houses of the countryside are being thrown open for those made homeless by the fire.

Middletown Daily Herald, Middletown, NY 3 Jun 1923