Bound Brook, NJ Flood and Fire, Feb 1896

The three main blocks in the village were flooded with water, and while the citizens were trying to rescue people from the houses that were in danger of being swept away in their houses by the flood, a fire was discovered. It was first seen in the lumber yard of L. D. Cook & Co. An alarm was turned in, but the volunteer firemen of Bound Brook, thinking they would be unable to cope with the fire, sent word to Somerville and Plainfield for assistance. Engines were started for Bound Brook but they had not gotten far outside the limits of their respective towns when they were forced to return, the roads being impassible on account of the floods. Citizens were unable to do anything in the attempts at fighting the flames or rescuing property, because of the swiftness of the current of water rushing through the streets, which threatened to carry men off their feet.

Under these conditions the fire had simply to burn itself out. It is thought that twenty houses have either been destroyed by the fire or wrecked by the flood. Many small outhouses belonging to farmers on the outskirts of Bound Brook were carried away by the flood and were swept down the Raritan river.

People driven from their homes by the fire and flood took refuge at first in the Presbyterian church, but the flames spread to that edifice and the inmates were obliged to leave it. All escaped.

There are reports current of loss of life in Bound Brook beyond that of MR. MILLER, but the basis of rumors cannot at present be ascertained.

Many residents of Bound Brook, whose business is in New York, were unable to reach their homes last night. Much live stock belonging to farmers on the outskirts of Bound Brook was carried away by the flood. The telephone wires in Myers' drug store were deserted by the operator at 9 o'clock last night. The telegraph operators in the Lehigh Valley and Central railroad offices sent messages while standing in water up to their knees, but finally when the water began to get higher they were compelled to leave their posts.

The water got so high that it put out the fires in the Raritan water works and this leaves Raritan and Somerville without water. The Raritan river was over twenty five feet higher than its normal level last night The woolen mills in Somerville were flooded and work had to be suspended.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne, IN 7 Feb 1896


PLAINFIELD, N. J., Feb 7.---While a locomotive was making the ineffectual effort to draw a flat car carrying a fire engine to Bound Brook last night, it ran upon a man, probably from Bound Brook, whom the overflow had driven to the higher ground upon which the track is built. He was hurled into the torrent raging at the side of the track and swept out into the Raritan river.

The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne, IN 7 Feb 1896


Bound Brook's Fire and Flood.

SOMERVILLE, N. J., Feb 8.---The fire which broke out at Bound Brook Thursday night, while the town was flooded, did over $100,000 damage. It was caused by slaking lime. The only building burned besides Cook's lumber mill was the Presbyterian church. The loss by water, which at one time was ten feet deep on the main street, is about $200,000. FREDERICK MILLER was drowned. When the waters were over six feet high MILLER attempted to reach Mulvey's Port Reading hotel to rescue Mulvey and his wife, who were calling for help, when his boat was upset. His body was recovered.

The News, Frederick, MD 8 Feb 1896