Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Heartbreaking Misfortunes

House and Contents Destroyed by FIRE
Middleboro Gazette, September 4, 1931

A fire that started from an overheated chimney destroyed the home and furnishings of Malcolm Smith, Plymouth Street in the North Middleboro section Sunday night while Mr. and Mrs. Smith were only a quarter of a mile away with their children watching traffic roll by on the new state highway.  It is the climax of a series of misfortunes that have visited the Smith family in a short time.  About two weeks ago Mr. Smith who had been employed in a tea room near his home, was put on part-time and then followed the death of Richard, their 10 month old son last week. (pneumonia)

Sunday night after supper the family went for a walk to the new road to see the automobiles and when they left their home everything seemed to be all right.  It seemed but a short time after when a neighbor discovered heavy smoke coming from the house.   He sent a telephone call to the central fire station and tried to get in to save some of the furniture but was driven back by the flames which spread with great rapidity from around the chimney to all parts of the house.

When Engine 1 with Deputy Chief Owens and crew arrived after the five mile run, the house was enveloped in flames and it was readily seen that nothing could be done to save it.  The water supply from a well near the house was soon exhausted and the Chief directed the attention of the firemen to prevent the spreading of the fire to other nearby property.  The furniture in a nearby home was removed but later as the danger subsided was replaced in the house by neighbors.  Sparks from this fire communicated to the roof of another house but it was quckly extinguished by a formed bucket brigade from a nearby well.

All the belongings of the Smith family and furniture stored in the house were destroyed and it is understood that the property was not fully insured.  The Smiths are now living with the family of Walter Savard.

Autoists driving on the new state highway (route 18) were attracted by the fire and many left their cars on that road and walked to the fire creating one of the worst traffic jams ever seen on this new highway.
Mary Ann Pierce and Malcolm Leroy Smith
My Grandparents

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