Montreal, QB Hardware Store Fire, Jan 1885

LOSS OF HALF A MILLION.

A BIG FIRE AND AN INADEQUATE WATER SUPPLY IN MONTREAL.

MONTREAL, Jan. 18.--Fire broke out in B. & T. H. Thompson's hardware establishment shortly after 1 o'clock this morning, and spread rapidly to the cigar manufacturing establishment of Smith, Fischel & Co. on the other side of the street, and to the Mount Royal Vinegar Works of Bourret, Turcotte & Co. These buildings were completely gutted. From the outset the water supply was insufficient, and the fire brigade labored under a great disadvantage. The weather was intensely cold. The hose was frozen stiff, and the firemen were covered with ice. A fierce wind was blowing, which caused the flames to spread with great rapidity. At about 2 o'clock, when the fire was at its height, the bells of the Convent of Providence, on St. Jean Baptiste-street, and those of the church of Notre Dame de Pitie, adjoining the factory of Smith, Fischel & Co., tolled for assistance. The firemen devoted their attention principally to saving the church and succeeded. The sanctuary of the church was illuminated with tapers, and several of the Sisters were praying at the altar.

The fire was finally got under control at about 4 o'clock. Its origin is unknown, but it is supposed to have been caused by a defective stovepipe. The buildings destroyed were owned by the Hotel Dieu nuns. The loss on them will amount to $800,000. The losses of the occupants will be close to $200,000.

The New York Times, New York, NY 14 Jan 1886