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1933 Village of Albert Hard Hit by Fire

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Village of Albert 
Hard Hit by Fire

1933 Village of Albert Hard Hit by Fire




Most Disastrous Fire Suffered by the Residence of Albert since Big Conflagration in 1905.




Gallant Efforts of Volunteer Fire Fighters, Aided by Firemen and a Piece of Moncton's Fire Apparatus, Prevented the Spread of the Flames to the Main Business Section - Blaze Started in Barn of O, C. Moore About Two O’clock While Most of the Residents of the Village Were at Wharf to Witness the Arrival of a steamer---Call for Assistance from Moncton Promptly Responded to ---Mrs. I. C. Prescott, Who Lost Two Houses, Two Barns and an Unoccupied Store, Was the Heaviest Loser -- United Church  Parsonage Burned and church Narrowly Escaped  --- Five Men Injured and Four in Hospital as Result of Auto Accident While They Were Rushing to the Fire ---List of Properties Destroyed

                           (Special to the Times)


ALBERT, Albert County, July 27--Late tonight a band of weary but courageous firemen stood guard over the smouldering ruins of seven residences, two stores, ten barns, a warehouse and a woodworking shop which were razed this afternoon in the most disastrous fire this picturesque village has experienced since 1905. No explanation could be given tonight as to the probable cause of the fire.

   Breaking out in a barn owned by O. C. Moore about two o'clock (Atlantic Standard time), as the greater portion of the population were at the wharf greeting the arrival of the Norwegian steamer "Heien," here to load pulpwood for the Mitchell Lumber Company, the fire spread rapidly and defied the best efforts of the fire fighting equipment here to halt its progress until twenty-one buildings had been destroyed.


   Volunteer fire fighters who rushed here from all sections of the surrounding countryside, gave valuable assistance, while one piece of the Moncton Fire Department which answered a call for assistance when the entire village seemed threatened, performed great work and linking forces with the local equipment finally cut off the fire and brought it well under control about seven o'clock tonight. The total loss caused by the devastating flames is estimated at about $61,000, and had it not been for a favourable breeze which blew from the southwest, away from the business section, it is believed the entire village might have been laid in ashes.


                   The Buildings Destroyed

     Following is a list of the buildings destroyed and the estimated losses:

  O. C. Moore, house and barn, $3,000.

  United Church Parsonage and barn $10,000.

  Furniture owned by Rev. Hugh Miller, occupant of the parsonage, $3,000.

  R. L. Fullerton, house and barn, loss $3,000.

  George Tingley, house, barn and furniture, $2,500.

  Mrs. I. C. Prescott, two houses, two barns, and an unoccupied store. $20,000.

  F. L. Geldart, combination house and store. $2,000.

  Mrs. Ezra Stiles, house, two barns, warehouse and woodworking shop, erected by her son O'Dell Stiles. $15,000.

  Blair Geldart, furniture. $500.

M. D. Fullerton. Barn $500.

  Aubrey Stiles. Barn, six head of cattle and a horse. $2,000.

  Mrs. I. C. Prescott was the heaviest loser in today's conflagration and her beautiful residence was one of the finest in the village, and it was one of the first to all a victim of the flames, as they crossed Albert's main street from the United Church parsonage and consumed several buildings simultaneously.

                 Five Men injured

In addition to the heavy material losses sustained five men are suffering from injuries as a result of the fire, four of whom are in the McLellan Memorial Hospital. Herbert Williamson, of this village, injured his leg which may be fractured near the ankle, while assisting firemen in their effort to check the advance of the flames. A piece of falling timber struck him on the leg and he is at his home tonight suffering considerable pain. Carl Anderson, Walter Milburn, Clifford Tingley and Mark Kent, all of this section of the County, are in hospital as a result of an automobile accident as they hurried from New Ireland where they were employed in lumbering operations, to the scene of the fire. The cause of the accident could not be learned but in some manner the machine got out of control and turned over several times. Anderson sustained a broken shoulder and severe scalp wounds; Tingley received a broken collar bone and shoulder bone; Milburn received head injuries and several teeth were knocked out, and Kent is suffering with arm injuries and other bruises. The men will recover.



Fire Had Head Start

As many of the people left their tasks shortly after dinner to assemble at the wharf for the arrival of the big Norwegian steamer, their attention was turned from the buildings. Smoke, issuing from the barn of O. C. Moore, fully a quarter of a mile from the wharf, was the first indication given of the fire. The blaze had gained much headway before the arrival of the fire fighting equipment, which is operated by gravity pressure from a reservoir about a mile from the village.

  The barn was quickly destroyed and the flames leaped to Mr. Moore's house which is known as the Maple Inn. Under a burning sun and a warm summer breeze blowing from the southwest, the firemen assisted by hundreds of volunteers fought desperately to confine the flames to these two buildings but the parsonage of the United Church of Canada was soon in flames.


Parsonage Destroyed---

Church Threatened

Rev. Hugh Miller, pastor of the United Church, who recently moved into the parsonage, had been to Prince Edward Island to attend a funeral, and returned this afternoon, only to find his new home in ruins and most of the furniture which he had recently unpacked burned. However, the fire fighters did good work in salvaging some furnishings before the house collapsed. A near-by barn belonging to the parsonage was also destroyed. Then a house and barn owned by George T. Tingley were burned.

  The United Church of Canada itself was threatened and flames caught in the rear portion but the timely work of the Albert firemen halted them and saved the building. One man collapsed under the terrific heat but was revived.


Moncton Assisted

  As indications were that the entire village might be wiped out, & call for assistance was sent to His Worship Mayor C. H. Blakeny, of Moncton, and at 3:20 the No 1 motor hose and chemical of the Moncton department left that city and arrived here about an hour later, making exceptionally good time on the long run. The Moncton firemen were under the direction of S. E. McKie, deputy fire chief of the City, and other members of the crew were Corey McKinnon, driver, "Sim" Bursey, ROY Spence, Jack Williams, and Fred Bell.

  After destroying the United Church parsonage, the fire leaped across and razed several buildings along that side of the road, including the beautiful residence of Mrs. I. C. Prescott, and then leaped back again to destroy more buildings on the same side of the road on which the fire started. There being no more buildings on this side of the road, in the path of the sweeping flames they jumped across the main road leading to Moncton in a north easterly direction and quickly enveloped other residences and barns.


Fire Played Strange Prank

  While the firemen were battling hard to halt the progress of the flames at this point and eventually succeeded, the fire played a strange prank and a deadly one to six head of cattle and a horse which were in the barn owned by Aubrey Stiles situated about three quarters of a mile from the burning buildings. Cinders apparently were blown over several nearer buildings to alight on the Stiles barn and before it was noticed, the flames had made such

Head way it was impossible to save any of the livestock, Mr. Stiles' loss was a heavy one.

  Firemen, who battled throughout the afternoon, were near exhaustion when the advance of the flames was finally halted. Occasionally during their efforts to quench the fire, it was necessary to spray them with water. Several were scorched about their hands, arms and face. Lack of proper fire fighting wearing apparel, made the task more strenuous for the fighters.


Breeze Died Down And

                                 Fire Arrested

  Late in the evening, however, as the breeze died down and a calm rested over the village, weary firemen still guarded the smouldering ruins as residents checked their losses, some of which are severe. While in most cases considerable of the furniture was salvaged from the burning residences, others lost heavily. Several homes which were not burned had been evacuated in the fear that the flames might spread.

  The owner of a small fox ranch situated within the danger zone took precautionary measures by putting his foxes into bags, and carrying them to safety, however, his efforts were not necessary as the flames cut off the flames and halted the fire before they reached the ranch.

  Today's fire was the worst and most disastrous that has visited this quiet village for 28 years. In 1905 the entire business section was laid in ruins and the losses were a great deal higher than they are as a result of today's conflagration. Some of those who sustained losses today, are protected to some extent financially, by insurance, although an estimate of the amount covered in this way, could not be learned tonight. Although no explanation could be given of the cause of the outbreak, it was rumoured about the village it might have been caused by children in the barn in which the fire started.


  Citizens of Albert Counting losses

Mrs Ezra Stiles lost Five Buildings at Estimated Loss of $15,000

Carried No Insurance and is Heaviest Loser





Valuable Timber Destroyed by Fire Which Broke Out on hills About a Mile from Riverside and Menaced District

(Special to The Times)

Albert, Albert County, July 28 While residents of this little village added up their losses today as the result of yesterday's conflagration which swept out a portion of the residential section called "Upper Corner", seventy-five men, gathered from various parts of the surrounding countryside battled a raging forest fire up on the hills, about a mile from Riverside.

  The cause of the forest fire, which tonight had burned over an area of thickly wooded land estimated at about three square miles, is attributed to a spark from yesterday's fire in the village. While firemen battled courageously to halt the advance of the flames here, the fire broke out in the woods, and unresisted, licked up valuable lumber and spread rapidly.

  Advancing before a brisk breeze today it became a menace and Fire Warden Russell Wallace of this village, summoned a large crew of men in an effort to halt its progress. They struggled against the combined forces of intense heat from the sun and the flames, and tonight word reaching here, was to the effort they were near exhaustion. The wind died down tonight, giving the fire fighters renewed hope and the opinion was expressed by those returning from the burning area that the fire will be brought under control tomorrow. The burned area is owned by Alonzo Stiles, Jack Teahan and Mrs. Maria McLellan.


Losses Were Heavy

  But in the meantime those residents of the village, who were burned out, are checking over the losses and making plans for the future. Some have already signified their intention of rebuilding immediately while others are undecided. As a result of the check-over however the estimated losses vary little from a previous estimate. 



Lost Five Buildings

                     And No Insurance

  Mrs. Ezra Stiles who lost five buildings in the flames, estimated at about $15,000 carried no insurance, it was learned today, and she will be the heaviest loser. Others who lost practically all their worldly possessions, and have no insurance include Blair Geldart who occupied a house owned by R. L. Fullerton. Mr. Geldart is a lumber contractor and lost a large quantity of camp equipment, valued at about $1,000.
  Aubrey Stiles, whose barn was destroyed including six head of cattle and a horse, had $200 insurance on his barn but his stock is a total loss. Mrs. I. C. Prescott, whose buildings and equipment were destroyed, valued at $20,000, is partly protected by insurance. Others carry insurance in small amounts but the exact amount could no be learned.

  Odell Stiles, son of Mrs. Ezra Stiles, who operated the woodworking plant which was destroyed, announced today that he would rebuild immediately, both the woodworking shop and a dwelling. Others were undecided, but for the time being those made homeless by the flames are being accommodated by kind neighbours who rallied to their assistance.



             Injured Men on the Mend

  The five men injured yesterday as a direct result of the fire, are progressing favourably, Curtis Anderson who was one of four men in an automobile which turned over en route from New Ireland as the men hastened to the scene of the fire, is suffering with several injuries the exact nature of which are not definitely known. He is the most seriously injured and is still confined to the McLellan Memorial Hospital and will probably be there for a few weeks at least. Clifford Tingley is also in the hospital. Walter Milburn and Mark Kent, other occupants of the car were discharged from the hospital today.

  Herb Williamson who jumped down a steep bank to escape a falling chimney during the height of the conflagration is still suffering with an injured foot and it is believed an operation may be necessary.

  It will be some time before this quiet little village recovers from the blow it received yesterday from the fire demon.


                   Twenty-one Buildings Destroyed at Albert  


  Move Promptly to Secure New Parsonage at Albert for United Ch. Minister


Albert, Albert Co., Aug. 1--The Quarterly Official Board of the Albert United Church has taken prompt action toward securing another parsonage to replace the destroyed in the disastrous Albert fire last Thursday.

  A joint meeting of the Quarterly Board and the trustee boards of the church sections of Albert, Riverside. Harvey and Hopewell Hill, was held last evening when a committee was appointed to make an inspection of two residences, one at Albert and one at Riverside, available for purchase, and thought to be suitable for parsonage purposes. The idea of rebuilding is not being considered, it is understood. Rev. Mr. Miller presided at the meeting.

  The committee made an examination of the two properties today and will report at a meeting of the Quarterly Board. The insurance on the parsonage burned was $1,600.

  At an adjourned meeting of the Quarterly Official Board of the Albert United Church recently, to consider the matter of securing a parsonage to replace the one burned here last week, it was decided to purchase the residence at Riverside belonging to the estate of the late Elizabeth Turner, for the sum of $1,000 subject to the approval of the Presbytery. Two available residences were under consideration, the decision in favour of the Riverside property followed the report of a committee appointed at a previous meeting of the two houses. The committee was composed of N. L. Smith, representing the Harvey section of the church; A. S. Prowse, Albert; A. R. Stiles, Riverside, and Everett E. Newcomb, Hopewell Hill. The residence the board decided to purchase is in the centre of Riverside village, near the United (former Presbyterian) Church, and was built by the late Hon. A. R. McClellan, and first occupied by Dr. G. J. Trueman then principal of the Riverside Consolidated School. It is about one mile from this village, which has been the pastor's home ever since the organization of the former Methodist Church. It is a coincidence that the fire which destroyed the parsonage here started in the old parsonage which had been sold and moved to an adjoining lot, to make room for the new building.



Submitted by: Lawrence (Larry) Hughes May 5, 2009

Transcribed by: Jim Oswald Thank you

This article is by "The Moncton Daily Times" Vol.56 No.297 Friday July 28,1933 page 1







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