Fire Ravages Business District at Windsor

NL GenWeb

Transcribed from The Western Star Newspaper, Corner Brook, Newfoundland.
Compiled by Peggy (Gale) Bennett and transcribed by Ron St. Croix.

Published - Saturday, 25 November 1944

Fire Ravages Business District at Windsor

Lack Of Water Hampers Efforts Of Fire Fighters.

Windsor: The fire which razed the business district of Windsor last Friday night was first noticed by a taxi driver named White. He thought the flames were coming from a chimney and notified the owner who lived in the rear of a building owned by A.C. Stroud. Upon investigation it was found that the flames were coming through the roof; the fire had started in the flat occupied by a family named Power. Before long the building, which was occupied by S. Cohen and Sons Furniture Store, A. Peckford’s Sewing Machine Agency, and the Purity Café, was a mass of flames. In the rear of the building the Power, Hennesy and Walsh families occupied apartments. There was some wind, and a complete lack of water for fighting the fire. Within four hours the King Edward Theatre, the Brown Derby Restaurant, Bernard Doubow’s Dry Goods Store, S. Cohen and Son’s Store and large storage building. Dubow’s dwelling and storage building, Philpott’s dwelling and store, Best’s Barber Shop and the Red Rose Café owned by John Lee, Goodyear Humber Stores, and a dwelling adjoining the store which was occupied by Kenneth Hall and family, were in ruins. Whipped on by a strong north-east wind, the conflagration spread rapidly. The Anglo-Newfoundland Development Co., Ltd., sent out fire-fighting equipment in an effort to combat the blaze. Another pump was sent from Botwood, but water had to be taken from the A.N.D. Pond, which is not a large body of water and was soon exhausted. The work of the fire fighters, however, prevented the fire from crossing the gap between Goodyear Humber Stores and Windsor Style Shop. Had the fire succeeded in getting across this gap, it is probable that the entire town of Windsor might have shared the fate of Harbour Grace. In an interview with Arthur Cohen of S. Cohen & Sons, a reporter learned of the tremendous loss suffered by the business men. “It is essential to have running water at Windsor,” Mr. Cohen said, “or at least a hydrant near the station. Business men will be reluctant to build again at Windsor when there is no adequate fire protection.” The estimated cost of the damage has not yet been ascertained, but it is feared that the Dubow loss is in the vicinity of $200,000.00;

S. Cohen & Sons, $150,000.00; Brown Derby $5,000.00; Peckford Sewing Machine Agency, $4,000.00. It will be some time before the entire loss can be computed.

© Peggy (Gale) Bennett, Ron St. Croix and NL GenWeb