Florida in Flames

Source: Monroe County Appeal, April 4, 1879 

About one o’clock on Tuesday morning last the cry of


resounded through our streets, and was immediately taken up by individuals and hastily carried from house to house, rousing up the sleeping inhabitants to the realization that the business portion of the town was on fire. Flames were seen bursting through the roof, doors and windows of the store room of


And now occupied by his son Joe as a drug and notion store. The residence of W. G. Roy adjoining the store room was next attacked by the devouring element, and was soon in flames. The drug store of


was next attacked, and in a few moments was in complete ruin. From the first it was evident that nothing could be done to save the three buildings mentioned, and all efforts were directed to saving the stock of drugs of Mr. Scobee and the furniture of Mr. Roy, willing hands soon moved the household furniture to a place of safety, while others were doing all in their power to save Scobee’s stock of drugs and their own houses from taking fire. For a time the houses on the east, north and south were in great danger of being burned, but by a free use of water and wet blankets all were saved. The store room of Mr. Heavenridge was so far gone before the fire was discovered that it was impossible to save anything there from.

Our citizens turned out enmasse and worked like Trojans till the fire was subdued, the ladies not hesitating to lend a hand when they could be of any benefit.  J. O. Gooch and C. Carley of Quincy, were in town and did noble service at the fire. So far as we can learn at this writing the total loss by the fire will range somewhere between

$1500 AND $2000,

and is distributed as follows: Heavenridge & son $600; J. Goodier, $400; James W. Scobee, $500; Mrs. M. A. Buchanan, $100; W. G. Roy, $20; the Powers Bros., $10 and some other trifling losses that cannot now be estimated. There was an insurance on the building owned by Dr. Goodier, and known as the “Bonsall Corner,” of $400, in the Home of New York. If the company pays up promptly the Doctor’s loss will be small. On the other property there was no insurance and the loss will fall heavily upon the owners.

As to the


of the fire, there is some difference of opinion, but disinterested parties think it was caused by a defective flue, while the owners think it the work of an incendiary. From all we can gather on the subject we are inclined to the first opinion. All parties saved their books and papers, and we trust that it will not be long till we rise Phoenix like from the bed of ashes, shining with more splendor than ever. New houses will be erected in place of the old ones, and what is now termed the “burnt district,” will burst forth with renewed life.