Heard and Seen at Mohican Fire

by Laurel | December 18th, 2013

17 December 1935

Corner of High and Dwight Streets

Corner of High and Dwight Streets
Source: MACRIS database

Heard and Seen at Mohican Fire

Holyoke, December 16 — Following the putting out of the fire one of the fire pumps was set to work pumping out the water in the cellar of the Mohican Market some four or five feet deep. There was no cellar to the Quality Silk Shop.

An odd feature to the fire was that there were no flames to be seen during the entire progress of the blaze. Vast volumes of smoke eddied out from the front. At first it was thought that the fire was a trivial one and some who went to it returned home.

The fire commission and the water commission were well represented. Former Chairman Thomas J. Carmody was on hand early as interested as he was a half century ago.

The number of flash pictured taken at the fire was the largest for many years. They were popping all the evening. Finally a number if the old-fashioned flashlight powders were touched off while the crowd howled with delight.

The last big fire in which ammonia fumes were present in large quantity was that of the Cudahy Packing Company on Main Street about 10 years ago. Last of recent two-alarm fires were ones last summer at the Crocker Mill and seven months ago at the Little Frank store adjacent to the Mohican Market.

Manager Kennedy of the Mohican Market was on hand early and of material assistance to the firemen. Eddie Forbes of the Quality Silk Shop was one of the early ones too, very much disturbed at the probable loss of his Christmas trade.

Frank Equi of Caesar Equi & Co., thinks that the fire melted a flange, united two pipe ends of the refrigerating plant, letting loose the ammonia fumes. The Equi Company has a refrigerating plant also.

There is likely to be some some, fire are water sales, at least smoke sales on high Street soon but the Holyoke National bank and Dr. L. J. Pereira will probably not hold them.

Dr. Stanley Cox, who was active with Dr. W. P. Ryan and George Ross, deplored the lack of a sufficient number of masks and was inclined to criticize the four or five owned by the department. Ammonia refrigeration has come to stay, he observed, and the Holyoke Fire Department should be equipped with the best masks.

The bell alarm on the McAuslan and Wakelin Building went on a rampage of its own early during the fire and continued to ring for 20 minutes of more.

The string of colored lights that extended from the block where the fire started continued to burn merrily on through and after the fire.

Holyoke bank officials were early at the fire, including President James H. Wakelin. The building was not threatened but had its  quota of smoke.

It was a happy crowd that gathered all around the blocks and watched the smoke. The fire area was roped off by the police and the crowd gave little trouble. Traffic on upper High Street near Dwight was suspended for several hours.

From The Springfield Republican


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