1909 - MANY HOUSES BURNED DOWN. THOUSAND PEOPLE HOMELESS AT PRESQUE ISLE, ME. RAVAGES RESIDENCE SECTION. FIRE DESTROYS ONE HUNDRED DWELLINGS, THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, THE MASONIC HALL AND SEVERAL OTHER STRUCTURES
HIGH WIND LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE EXTENT OF THE DISASTER. SEVERAL PERSONS INJURED.
Presque Isle, Me., June 8. - The entire northeasterly section of this village, comprising the district where were situated the most pretentious residences, was swept by fire, a high wind carrying the flames and embers from street to street until 100 dewelling houses and the Congregational church, the Masonic hall and several other structures had been reduced to ashes. The Canadian Pacific railroad station and two large storehouses for potatoes were burned. The total loss is estimated at $300,000.
Upward of 1,000 persons are homeless.
A high wind which prevailed all day is responsible largely for the extent of the disaster. It carried blazing embers a distance of a quarter of a mile in many cases, and new fires started after the first was well under way.
Several persons were reported injured, but there were no fatalities.
The burned section covers an area of half a square mile, including North Main street, Allen street, Third street, Blake street and South street to Main street.
The financial loss may exceed $300,000, but that figure is regarded as a reasonable estimate. The insurance will not exceed $150,000.
Presque Isle has a population of nearly 5,000. It is the center of the potato raising district of Aroostook county and is located on the Bangor and Aroostook railway and at the terminus is a branch of the Canadian Pacific railway running from Aroostook Junction. The total valuation of the town is $2,000,000.
Austin Daily Herald
June 8, 1909
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