Entire Block in Warsaw Burns
Fire Department Loses Quarters; 4 Families Homeless; Loss $100,000
Warsaw, Kentucky – Dec. 18. Four families were homeless, the Warsaw fire department was left out in the cold and damage estimated at $100,000 or more was caused by fire that razed an entire block in the center of Warsaw’s business district early today and starved itself out after all available water was used in the early stages of the blaze.
Discovered about 1 o’clock this morning by a Negro boy, who notified Fire Chief G. W. Henry at the fire station in the same block, the fire quickly destroyed the lodge rooms of the Tadmor Masonic Lodge #108, one of the oldest in the state, with all lodge records, and spread to the first floor of the same building, occupied by the grocery and mortuary of Louis Hall. The blaze consumed the W. O. McCann shoe store, the Warsaw fire station, the Negro Odd Fellows lodge building, and five former business buildings that were rented as tenement houses. As Warsaw has no waterworks, the fifteen or twenty volunteer firemen under Chief Henry connected their modern fire engine to fire cisterns, but soon depleted the water in them. Since no other supply was available, the firemen watched other nearby property and allowed the entire block to burn itself out. The main part of the block had burned out in five or six hours, but the debris smoldered until noon. Replacement value of the two-story brick buildings of the block, known as the Arcade Block, all constructed before the War Between the States, was estimated at $60,000 to $75,000. Louis Hall estimated the loss on his stock and fixtures at $7,000, while that of the McCann shoe store was set at $4,000. Most of the equipment of the fire station was in use and was saved. Both lodges lost all furniture and all records. Four families lived in the tenement buildings and most of them saved a part of their belongings.
From the Louisville Courier Journal, of December 19, 1932.