Archive for Tuesday, November 20, 2012

100 years ago: Two dozen horses perish in downtown stable fire

November 20, 2012


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Nov. 20, 1912:

  • “Tied in their stalls and with the flames under such headway that help could not reach them, twenty-four horses perished in the fire which last night destroyed the Donnelly Feed Barn at 704 New Hampshire street. Only one of the animals quartered in the barn escaped the flames, although a herd of fourteen western horses that were kept in a corral adjoining the barn on the south, escaped from the enclosure when the flames broke out and were saved. The fire started in the barn, owned by the Donnelly Brothers, but managed by J. R. Woodward, about eleven o’clock last night and spread so rapidly that it was impossible to save very little of the property, and as this barn was a boarding place for many of the delivery horses and store house for wagons of many business houses the loss is spread in general over the business section of the city…. A rough estimate this morning figured that the loss in horses was about $8,000. Harnesses and wagons lost were valued at close to $2,000, while the loss of the barn was another $2,000…. There was considerable anxiety experienced last night in this section of town as there was a high wind blowing and the air was filled with flying embers.”
  • [Starred editorial] “At the beginning of the fire last night, the water pressure was very low, but it was strengthened somewhat during the fire. By the time the fire was out All the Available Water Supply Was Exhausted, the pools or basins at the plant being empty. Within another hour another alarm of fire was turned in. Fortunately this fire was extinguished by the use of chemicals and the water was not needed. If a serious fire had occurred later in the evening, or even this morning, the city would practically have been at its mercy…. It is not a matter for angry criticism, but it is something which must be taken up at once, calmly and dispassionately, to see what may be accomplished. There are but one of two things to be done. Either the city must buy the plant and spend a considerable amount of money in making the necessary improvements and securing an adequate supply of pure water, or the Lawrence Water Company must be permitted an increase in rates sufficient to enable it to raise the money to make the improvements. It is time to act.”


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.