NATIONAL MILLS TOTALLY DESTROYED
Fierce Blaze Battled For Hours by Fire Department - Severe Loss To Angola
|National Mill Before The Fire|
|Taken soon after the roof and |
upper floor fallen in. Firemen can
be seen to the left on the
roof of the plant of the
Indiana Utilities Company
|Photo shows the fire|
at it's height, when
the flames were mounting
100 feet in the air
situations. It soon became evident that the greatest effort must be exerted to protect the water, light and power plant of the Indiana Utilities Company, which adjoins the mill, and with a strong wind blowing from the northwest, the heat about the power plant was intense, making the work there difficult and hazardous. The pumps and engines in the plant were operating to the limit, and even then there were times that the water pressure was too low to reach above the second story of the building. The heat from the fire was intense, and a number of buildings in the neighborhood caught fire, some of them repeatedly , and earnest effort of citizens was necessary to guard them. The work of the Boy Scouts about the Sheldon hay barn was especially commendable, this building having caught fire five times, and at one time the fire went through into the baled hay, but a member of the organization stationed inside extinguished it. number of residences in the surrounding locality were also guarded by their owners. The Chester Crain residence, several blocks away, and on the way to the college, caught fire twice, but was quickly extinguished.
The owners of the mill were somewhat fortunate in regards to the contents. They had a couple carloads of wheat in transit, one of them to arrive the next morning, and the stock of wheat was comparatively low. They estimate that they had about 600 bushels of wheat in the mill, and nearly a car load of oats. There was also about 100 bushels of flour, but Irvin Metzgar chanced to come upon the scene with his wagon and team soon after the fire started, and his wagon was hurriedly loaded with flour, and others following with wagons assisted in this work and the flour was practically all saved in good condition.
The walls of the building remain standing, but the interior was completely gutted, and everything is a total loss, It was built in 1895 by Kinney & Croxton, and soon passed to Croxton & Pilliod, where the milling business was conducted for some time in connection with the power plant, and since its erection it has changed hands a number of times, and it has always been used for the milling business. It was a substantially built structure of three stories and a basement, two stories being of brick, and the upper story of frame with steel siding. It was one of the best of the industrial buildings of Angola, and the loss is keenly felt, it probably being the most disastrous fire in the history of the city.
Steuben Republican March 7, 1917