The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

July 1st, 2015

Dec. 17, 1942Springhill Record
Firemen and Citizens Wage Gallant Fight To Control Bad Fire

     Damage to the extent of some $22,000 to the stock of Mr. L.B. Herrett Monday evening in a blaze that is thought to have started in Mrs. Ogles apt. above the store and spread rapidly, destroying her quarters completely, as well as those of Mr. & Mrs. James O’Rourke, who occupied part of the same flat.  The second floor of an adjoining building which Mr. Herrett used for storage was also badly burned and the stock on the second floor mostly destroyed.

     The main floor of Herrett’s suffered mostly from water, although the supplies on the shelves seemed to be untouched by the water, Mr. Herrett estimated his loss at some $22,000.

     Mr. and Mrs. O’Rourke’s home was completely destroyed.  They were resting at the time prior to Mr. O’Rourke’s departure for work on the eleven o’clock shift.  They escaped on bare feet and with little of their clothing except some they were able to salvage before the blaze engulfed their apartment.  Mrs. Ogle’s apartment was completely destroyed.

     The fire was discovered by some children.  Only five minutes before the alarm Mr. Herrett had tended his furnace and gone into his club next door.  As he left the club when the alarm went he was met by a wall of smoke from his own premises.  Inside his own store there was only a small blaze near his furnace but this was quickly extinguished.  The fire seemed to come down the wall.  Upstairs everything was a raging inferno.

     Hose was actually laid before the whistle sounded and this quick work by the Department was probably responsible for holding the blaze right inside the building.  It was one of the best exhibitions of firefighting the local department ever gave.  The walls of two buildings within two feet and ten feet were not even singed by the blaze so well was it kept in the building.

    Equipped with one mask Fireman Charles Crawford got right inside at the worse spot and later others were able to get in from the front when it was considered safe to blow out the front windows.  From then on it was water and water, more hose, more ladders. Citizens took their places beside the firemen and drenched to the skin with their clothes frozen on them, they battled it out until the blaze was finally brought under control after nearly three hours.  The street ran with water which froze quickly and made the handling of hose and ladders a most treacherous job, but no one was injured in the long battle although it was 2:30 a.m. when it was felt the blaze was completely out.  It had started around 8:30 p.m.

     Chief Buchanan and two firemen remained on guard throughout the remainder of the night, to prevent any looting of the premises. One boy had been jailed earlier in the evening for lifting goods from the store and will probably be tried before Magistrate Lambert Friday.  Wednesday morning Mr. Herrett and his staff, along with some friends, were hard at work recovering what they could, and while the roof is badly burned Mr. Herrett will reopen on Monday and Tuesday for the sale of poultry and Christmas candy which has been saved from the fire, but he will be quite unable to fill any orders for other supplies. 

     Fire Insurance Adjusters were here yesterday estimating the damage.  At the moment it is planned to re-roof the building and Mr. Herrett hopes to get going again very shortly.

     Mr. and Mrs. O’Rourke and Mrs. Ogles are staying with friends.

     Mr. O’Rourke carried only a very small amount of insurance, but about half of Mr. Herrett’s loss is covered. 

     During the battle, Hyatt’s, Rex Café and Mrs. Wm. Wilson supplied tea and coffee to the firefighters which was greatly appreciated.

Dec. 31, 1942 Injured in Car Accident

     Cecil Letcher, proprietor of Letcher’s Garage, is in Highland View Hospital as a result of an accident at Sackville Christmas Eve when his car struck the center concrete buttress of the Sackville Bridge.  The front of the car was driven in and Mr. Letcher, behind the wheel, suffered severe injuries, including a broken jaw.  He was taken to Amherst and is still a patient at Highland View Hospital. 

July 1, 1937 Oxford Journal Work Progressing on Springhill Road

     The laying of underdrainage tiles in preparation of paving the Oxford to Springhill road is progressing favorably.  At present a large number are employed between Oxford and Oxford Junction.  The hard surface will be laid later this summer by the Dufferin Paving Company, of Toronto, who have a contract for all paving in the County this year.

Aug. 19, 1937 Oxford JournalMiners Picnic

Springhill Aug. 15Annual Miners’ Picnic will be held Saturday at Parrsboro.  The two special trains convey the miners and their families and free transportation provided.  The employees of the Coal Company will receive their pay on Friday instead of Saturday. 


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