$50,000 Fire at Williamstown


Three Business Places and Residence Destroyed

 Three business establishments and a large frame residence were destroyed and the Baptist church and other buildings were damaged in a fire which threatened the main business section of Williamstown, Ky. early Saturday, [July 25, 1927].  The total loss was estimated at $50,000.

 The fire department of Williamstown, aided by that of Dry Ridge, Ky., prevented the flames from sweeping through the town.

 The fire swept places and estimated losses are as follows:

 Variety store of W. A. Caldwell, $2500;

Grocery of O. P. Beasley, $3,000;

Dixie Restaurant and rooming house, $1500;

Needham Block, $25,000;

Two story frame residence of W. T. Bennett, $10,000;

Other residences and buildings suffered slight damages.

 The variety store, grocery and restaurant were located in the Needham block, a two story brick building on Main Street.  This and the Bennett residence were landmarks in Williamstown, having been built over fifty years ago.

 The fire it is said originated in the Dixie restaurant, the cause being undetermined, at 12:30 a.m.  Several transient roomers above the restaurant were forced to flee without their clothing.

 The blaze was discovered by Rufus Wood, proprietor of the B. & W. Hotel, which is across the street from the Needham Block.

 The fire spread rapidly to the other establishments in the Needham Block and soon it was a furnace, with flames threatening to attack other buildings.  Citizens formed a bucket brigade to aid the fireman and keep roofs of adjoining buildings covered with water to quench the shower of sparks that would have started additional blazes.  The Needham Block was destroyed and the Bennett residence nearby was also reduced to ashes.  The families of Bennett and J. L. Mitts and Miss Kate King, who lived in the Bennett home, lost their belongings.  The Baptist church adjoins the Needham block and by valiant effort this edifice was saved, though one side of the roof was damaged.

 During his efforts to save part of his office records, W. A. Caldwell, grocer, fell and broke his arm.

 The total insurance carried by the places destroyed or damaged by the fire is said to be $30,000.


From the Walton Advertiser of July 28, 1927