The Railways of Ottawa

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

Ottawa West Canadian Pacific East Wing of Roundhouse Burned 12 April 1910.

Ottawa Journal 12 April 1910
In Early Morning Fire at C.P.R. Roundhouse
New Viaduct Seriously Handicapped Firemen
Sounding of Second Alarm Found Necessary

In one of the most spectacular fires seen in the vicinity of Ottawa for some time, a section of the C.P.R. roundhouse was destroyed at about half past three o'clock this morning and four big mogul engines were damaged beyond repair.
The first alarm was sounded from box 141 at the end of Wellington street at 3:40 and when deputy chief Stanford arrived he immediately sent in a second alarm on account of the great headway that the flames had made which made it appear as if the destruction of a nearby row of wooden houses was inevitable.
Much difficulty
The firemen had great difficulty in getting their apparatus near the burning building on account of the fact that since the completion of the new viaduct there has been no provision whatever made for the entrance of a waggon of any description into the immediate vicinity of the shops. Chief Graham stated emphatically that such a state of affairs should not be allowed to exist as the men lost valuable time carrying the hose two or three hundred yards.
On account of the strong wind that was blowing, and the tangle of scrap iron etc. which the roundhouse contained, the firemen experienced great difficulty in combatting the flames at first, but when the engine "Canada" was coupled to two lines of the hose the blaze was brought under control inside of thirty-five minutes.
Many spectators
The incessant whistling around emitted from the engines which were in the burning portion and the lurid flames, attracted many spectators to the spot, in spite of the early hour, and as the usual custom in such cases, a squad of policemen were sent up from the station.
Engines Nos. 42, 206, 274 and 1297 were completely wrecked and their loss will inconvenience the railroad as they were all in active service.
During the progress of the fire Louis McConnell of No. 3 station was suddenly taken with a fainting spell and had to retire for a time.
The men from stations No. 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 11 fought the blaze and were able to return home about daybreak.

Ottawa Citizen 12 April 1910

East Wing of C. P. R. Building Is Destroyed.
Fierce Blaze Started at 4 o'clock This Morning.
Brigade Saved Other Section of The Building.
The eastern section of the C P. R. roundhouse, near the Wellington street viaduct, was completely destroyed by fire which broke out at a quarter to four o'clock this morning. The loss, including damage to four engines, will amount to about $12,000 covered by insurance. The section will be rebuilt and traffic will not be interfered with, the warm weather permitting repairs to be made outside. The cause of the fire is not known but it is supposed to have started from one of the engines of which there were four in at the time.
It was first noticed by one of the employes, the celling burning at a lively rate. The employes attacked the fire with the private apparatus but owing to the high wind they were powerless to arrest its progress. An alarm had also been turned in and the city department responded. The section was by this time a roaring fire and a second alarm was turned in as the high wind was blowing sparks and embers for long distances, some going as far as Somerset street. Fortunately no other building caught fire. The other section of the roundhouse was saved, the firemen being assisted by a brick fire wall between the two sections. The engines were four freighters of the smaller type and the loss on them will be about $10,000. The building was frame and brick veneer and the loss on it will probably be $2,000. There have been several smaller fires in the same section of the roundhouse the last one occurring less than two months ago and the previous one last fall.

Canadian Railway and Marine World May 1910

The east wing of the roundhouse near the Wellington Street Viaduct burned April 12, the damage being estimated at $12,000.

Updated 26 October 2021

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