Cambridge Springs, PA Fire, Apr 1897


Cambridge Springs, Pa., a Health Resort, Ravaged by Flames-Loss, $200,000-A Merchant Killed.

Meadville, Pa., April 1.-Cambridge Springs, a health resort about 15 miles from here, was almost entirely destroyed by fire to-day, involving a loss of one life and property loss of $200,000.

At about 10:30 o’clock this morning the fire started in the notion store of Mrs. Wellman. As there is no fire department at the Springs, the flames spread with wonderful rapidity, soon having the business portion of the place at their mercy. Assistance was requested from this city, Corry and Union City. Engines and reels were dispatched at once, but before substantial relief could be given, 30 business houses and a dozen residences had succumbed to the flames.

CHARLES HAYES, a merchant, entered his place of business while it was in flames to save some valuables and was crushed by falling walls. His body has not yet been recovered. Following are among the principal losers:

Boyd & Blystone, clothiers, $10,000; Kite & Flinck, general merchandise, $7,000; New Cambridge Hotel, Haggerty & White, proprietors, $50,000; Root & Kelly, feed and coal, $4,000; Carl Greaves, furniture, $5,000; Post Office, a total loss; J.R. Caso & Co., general store, $10,000.

The village presents a scene of desolation to-night. From the Erie Railroad tracks to Spring Street is a mass of smoldering ruins. At 4 o’clock the flames were under control, having spent their fury upon the properties above mentioned. Many persons were injured. The amount of insurance on the different properties could not be learned to-night.

The St. Louis Republic, St. Louis, MO 2 Apr 1897





Proprietor Buried Under Falling Walls-Thirty Business Houses and Twelve Dwellings Destroyed.

Thirty business houses and a dozen dwellings were destroyed by fire at Cambridge Springs, Pa., yesterday afternoon. One life was lost and $225,000 damage was done to property. The fire broke out in the rear of Wellman’s novelty works and in 15 minutes the flames, under a northeast breeze, had leaped across the street and another row of buildings was soon in flames. There was no fire protection, except a hose cart, and help had to be summoned from the surrounding country. At 2 o’clock the new Cambridge hotel caught fire and before long a second row of buildings was in flames. During the excitement of the fire an explosion occurred and the walls of Fellows & Hays’s store fell in. W.A. HAYS, one of the proprietors, was buried in the wreck. Several others were struck by the falling walls, but were not seriously injured. Hays’s body was revered, but the head and legs were missing. He was a former member of the Pennsylvania legislature.

After sweeping over three squares the fire practically burned itself out. The heaviest losers include Haggerty & White, proprietors of the new Cambridge house, $55,000; Klie & Fink, general merchandise, $10,000; Carl Greeves, furniture, $7000; Blistone, druggist, $8000; Pfeffer & Co., $7000; Cambridge Enterprise, $5000; Mason building, $5,000; Mrs. A.K. Le Fevre, $8000; Fellows & Hays, $7000; J.B. Hume, $7500; Cambridge News, $5000. The fire was the result of careless use of matches by some boys in a rubbish room in the Wellman building. The total insurance is estimated at $125,000.

Springfield Republican, Springfield, MA 2 Apr 1897