Gowanda, NY Plow Works Fire, Sept 1932


Machinery and Implements valued at $150,000 lost - Factory Closed Two Years

Gowanda, Sept 3. -- The Gowanda Plow Works was destroyed by fire that spread to several dwellings and threatened the entire business district of this Cattaraugus County village.

The blaze caught the local fire department off guard, as most of the [illegible] were attending the Hamburg Fair in Erie County, Friday being Firemen's Day.

As soon as the blaze was discovered orders were sent to the fairground send every fireman on the grounds, who was a member of any company within in radius of 10 miles of Gowanda to the scene.

Within 25 minutes after the blaze was discovered, companies from Perrysburg and Collins had arrived on the scene and were assisting several local companies in battling the hazardous blaze.

The plant which is owned by Mrs. Daniel G. Keyes, was shut down two years ago. Machinery and implements valued at $150,000 which had been manufactured in the plant prior to the shutdown were stored within the building.

The estimated loss, including equipment will reach $175,000. The fire was under control at midday, although flames still were being subdued in some of the nearby buildings.

A number of people drove to Gowanda from Salamanca and witnessed the closing scenes of the fire.

Salamanca Republican Press, Salamanca, NY 3 Sept 1932


Firemen Called From Fair to Fight $150,000 Blaze at Gowanda

Gowanda, Sept 3-- Hastily summoned from the Hamburg County fair firemen early today brought under control a fire which swept through the abandoned Gowanda plow works and for a time threatened the business section of the town.

The blaze was confined to the plow works and adjacent structres [sic] and officials said the loss would approximate $150,000. No effort was made to save the plow works and firemen confined their efforts to extinguishing flames in nearby dwellings and preventing them from spreading into the business section of the town.

The fire started while members of the local fire brigade were participating in volunteer firemen's day activities at the Hamburg County fair. They were summoned through a loud speaker system and additional aid was called in from Perrysburg and Collins.

The plant, which was closed down two years ago, was filled with valuable machinery and farm equipment. Fire officials were unable to ascertain the cause of the blaze.

Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY 3 Sept 1932