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This Day In Norwood History-February 7

$16,000 FIRE IN NORWOOD

Murphy Block Prey of Bad Blaze.

Help Summoned From Dedham — Company Makes Record Run.

Wife of Proprietor Gets Out Safely.

This is the Murphy Block in 2020.

Mon, Feb 7, 1916 – The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts)

NORWOOD, Feb 6 — Loss close to 116,000 was caused tonight by a fire in the Murphy Block, corner of Washington and Day sts, that proved the worst the town has experienced in 10 years.

A general alarm was sounded, and as the fire threatened to spread, Town Manager Bingham summoned assistance from Dedham. Chief Harrigan of that town with Hose Co 1 in charge of Capt John Kennedy responded, but their services were not required. The company made a record run.

Several of the local firemen had narrow escapes as they were forced to mount ladders to the snow-covered roof and chop holes in an effort to get lines of hose to work on the fire, which was spreading through the blind loft that ran the entire length of the building on the Washington-st front, over six stores. It was here that the fire raged fiercest and from there it dropped tn places to the stores below.

Started in Passageway.

It also spread to the Adams-st side of the block, which is two stories in hight. Mr Murphy had his real estate office and living apartments there. These were destroyed, about the only thing saved being a small amount of furniture that volunteers were able to carry out.

The fire started in a passageway which is a portion of the building and runs along in the rear of the Washington-st group of stores. In the opinion of Chief Boyden it was caused from spontaneous combustion in some rubbish and once started, spread rapidly, gaining a foothold in the blind loft and spreading freely. The fire burned fiercely for more than an hour after the sounding of the first alarm at 7:15. The roof was ablaze in several places at the same time and the firemen had all they could do to keep it from communicating to the adjoining block on Day st.

The blaze quickly made its way around to the Day-st side of the block and out through the roof. Mrs Murphy, wife of James H. Murphy, owner of the block, was in her apartment at the time and got out safely. It was after 9 o’clock when the “all out” signal was given.

Chief Harrigan Praises Firemen.

Mr Murphy places his loss at $14,000. This includes damage to the building and furnishings of his home. He is covered by insurance. In addition to his real estate office he conducted the bowling alleys in the rear. The fire itself did not touch the alleys to any’ great extent, but the large amount of water that flooded them caused heavy damage, and it is probable that they will have to be rebuilt. He said tonight that he would make arrangements immediately to rebuild.

The other occupants of the building and their estimated losses follow: M. O’Keeffe, grocer, $500; Frank J. Corrigan, undertaker, $100; Norwood Florist Company, $100; D. Landry, barber, $200, covered by insurance; C. A. Anderson, tailor, $500, insured; Peter Lentrop & Co, candy store, $200, M. Freeman, delicatessen lunch, $100.

Chief Harrigan of Dedham was warm in his praise of the local firemen and declared that the men under Chief Boyden did excellent work in confining the fire to the one structure.

1916 Ad for Carl A. Anderson’s Tailor Shop in the Murphy Block.

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