On This Day in FFD History

November 29, 2016 Events  No comments

Reprinted (as it appeared) from The Cumberland News, November 29, 1952 – Page 18

17 Are Made Homeless In Frostburg Blaze

Heavy Damage Is Caused By Water, Fire


Seventeen persons were made homeless in Frostburg last evening, when fire gutted a downtown apartment and grocery store at the corner of Grant and Main Streets.

The structure, a two-story insul brick covered frame building was one of the oldest in Frostburg. It is owned by Mrs. Annie (Chabot) Bockes, who lives directly across the street.

The blaze, of undetermined origin was discovered about 3 p.m. by Mrs. Elsie Kidwell, wife of the operator of the Jo-Le-Kay Market, which occupies the street floor.

Volunteer firemen of the community took all available equipment to the scene and succeeded in confining the flames to the second floor apartments. Fire, however, broke through the roof in several places, and firemen poured water on adjoining property to prevent the spread of the flames.

Damage to the grocery market on the first floor was reported to be extensive from smoke and water. The second floor was completely swept by flames, destroying furniture, walls, doors and the ceiling and roof.

Hampered by freezing weather, firemen stayed on the job until well after darkness to assure safety form the blaze. Traffic was tied up in the community and rerouted on various side streets. The building was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. John Lee Kidwell, who with their six children. Lived in an apartment above the store.

The six-room apartment on the east side of the structure was occupied by Mrs. Naomi Dixon and her eight children. The Dixon family were not at home at the time of the fire.

Another five-room apartment in the center of the building was vacated on Thursday by Mrs. Sally Preston and three children, who according to neighbors, moved to Spring Street.

The building, and furnishings were partially covered by insurance. Insulbrick covering, firemen said kept the blaze from eating its way through the walls and the frame of the structure remained standing.

The residence next-door, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hiser, of Pittsburgh, and occupied by Joseph Clark, his wife and two children, was slightly damaged. Firemen played water on the Clark home. Ice forming from the water during the cold weather hampered the efforts of the firemen somewhat and caused extra hardships.

Some of the clothing and furnishings of the Clark family were removed from the residence. The fire was brought under control by 6 p.m. and was discovered by Mrs. Kidwell as she opened a door in the upstairs.

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