Sunday, June 24, 2012

Norwich Fire Loss Placed at $60,000 in 1932

Norwich Fire Loss Placed at $60,000 1932

Norwich Fire Loss Placed at $60,000

Officials Continue Investigation of Conflagration
Believed Caused by Time Bomb

Norwich, March 24 (Special)---Accurate figures given by fire chief L. C. Brookins tonight placed a loss of approximately $60,000 on the disastrous fire which swept through the business section of this village this morning at 3 o'clock, destroying the Recreation building and Smalley's Grand theatre.
Fire officials continued their investigation of the origin, which is believed to have resulted from a explosion in the bowling academy, owned by Thomas Spadero. After questioning by police, Spadero and his brother-in-law, John Distefano, who sold the building to Spadero a year ago, were both released from custody.
The terrific explosion, followed by the fire which swept a block of Main street structures, was believed caused by a time bomb. Fire chief Brookins stated tonight that the explosion was of mysterious origin and that his department intended to use every means to run it down.
Windows of every building within a radius of a quarter of a mile of the explosion center were blown out. Persons in bed in apartments in the Smalley theatre buiding were hurled to the floor. The Chenango hotel and Lackawanna railroad station were both damaged heavily, window panes were broken and flying debris strewn about. Guests at the hotel were forced to flee when smoke and water enveloped the building.
Leo Hynes, 23, son of Frank Hynes of Binghamton, suffered a laceration of the neck when a piece of flying glass struck him. No other injuries were reported, although several firemen narrowly escaped being struck by flying glass and debris.
All city fire apparatus was summoned to the scene. Firemen fought the blaze with more than 15 lines of water. Although the fire was under control in two hours, Chief Brookins and his men continued to pour water on the ruins until noon. Witnesses said the fire followed the explosion when a sheet of fame shot through the roof of the Recreation area.

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