The Railways of Ottawa

Finding No. 21   Railway Structures Destroyed (Mainly) by Fire

Ottawa Canada Atlantic Piling Grounds Burned 23 June 1937

New York Times 27 August 1894

Ottawa, Ontario, Aug. 26.  Fire this afternoon burned 300 lumber piles, a long string of freight cars on the Canada Atlantic Railway, and late tonight, the fire was still not under control.

Ottawa Citizen 27 August 1894
SPREAD OF THE FLAMES. The fire broke out in the piles about half way between Cedar and Balsam streets. It spread rapidly, and by the time any streams were put on, the flames were raging furiously. Two railway sidings filled with cars separated the burning piles from the yard of the Export Lumber Company which is at present thickly stocked. By a hard fight the fire was kept from spreading into this yard, although six of the cars on the sidings adjoining were destroyed. There were some twenty or thirty cars on the sidings altogether. Some of those destroyed belonged to the Delaware aud Hudson railway, others to the Grand Trunk and the C, A. R.. An attempt was made to haul these cars away, but the fire was altogether too intense to admit of rescue. The flames took a westward course, and by degrees worked their way almost in every direction through Mr. Booth's lumber. Some cars on another siding leading from the O. A. & P. S. into a more central part of the yard were saved by being hauled out just in time.

For the second time within a couple of months Mr. J. R. Booth has suffered heavy loss by fires. Worse still, the circumstances seem to point to incendiarism as the origin of both. That the business enterprise which Mr. Booth has displayed should render him the particular object of this villainous species of malignity is a further cause for regret; and we feel sure that the sympathy of every citizen of the Capital will be his iu the misfortune which overtook him yesterday.

Ottawa Journal 27 August 1894

Acres of lumber gone in ashes.
Seventy Thousand Dollar Blaze in Booth Rochesterville yards.
A fierce fire that was desperately fought.
A critical moment when the city was in danger.
Incendiaries supposed to have been at work.
A thousand piles of lumber, the Cedar St. School, a number of cars and two dwelling houses wiped out - notes of the blaze - how it was fought.
The greatest Lumber fire Ottawa ever had.
Such was the blaze last evening in Booth pining grounds between Cedar Street bridge and the Parry Sound crossing. It covered a greater area, destroyed more lumber and with the possible exception of the destruction of Booth's big mill a few months ago did more damage than any other fire that Ottawa has ever seen.
In length the fire covered fully a quarter of a mile. It was over 1,000 feet wide and destroyed a thousand piles of lumber. In addition to this the Cedar St. school, a dozen railway cars, three small dwelling houses, all the railway tracks and platforms throughout throughout the yard went up in smoke. The lost, it is expected, will reach fully $70,000.

Note. This is the beginning of a very lengthy article. The fire was west of Preston street and east of the CPR and included the CAR curve,  includes plan.

Updated 24 October 2021

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