Clipped From The Piqua Daily Call
PIQUA DAILY CALL Piqua, Ohio Monday, February 4, 1974 10' $107,000 Fire Destroys Old Lumber Yard GOING, THEN GONE!-A fireman and the Troy Fire Department's aerial ladder truck are silhouetted against Chief Wrecks Auto En Route To Piqua Fire An automobile being driven to Piqua by Covington Fire Chief Roger O'Donnell, 69, to join other members of the Covington Volunteer Fire Department assisting in the J.A. Shade Lumber Co. fire, collided with another automobile in the Covingtem-Sunset intersection at 6 a.m. this morning, injuring the driver. ; Taken to Piqua Memorial Hospital In the fire department emergency ambulance was Neal P. Lyons, 20, of 217 E. Court, Sidney, who received head and neck injuries. He was treated and then released. The Covington fire chief, who was driving his own private automobile with an emergency signal light on, received minor injuries on the left hand and a sprained thumb. According to a police report of the accident, the fire chief's car was eastbound on Covington "at a high rate of speed," and entered the Sunset intersection as Lyons' car, which was northbound on Sunset also entered at a speed of 35 miles an hour. O'Donnell's car collided with the Sidney vehicle, demolishing it as the car spun around several times. The chief's auto, also damaged, came to a stop some 350 feet from the point of impact, police reported. No citations were issued after the on- the-scene investigation. Piqua police also investigated an accident at E. Ash Street and-Looney Road, shortly after noon Saturday, involving automobiles driven by Martha J. Manning, 21, of 6285 E. Snyder Road, Fletcher, and Randolph D. Fries, 16, of 1620 Grant. A parked car owned by James T. Ashton, 713 McKinley, was struck and damaged by a "hit-skip" vehicle at Brook and McKinlcy, sometime Saturday, it also was reported by police. roaring flames from the old J.A. Shade Lumber Co., South and Roosevelt, at the height of the early morning blaze which destroyed the former lumber yard. Arson is suspected, firemen said. (Kogt Photo). Arson is suspected as the cause of a fire which leveled the old J.A. Shade Lumber Co. at South and Roosevelt early this morning, and also damaged eight nearby homes, several utility poles, power lines and CATV cables. Kire Chief Russell Selby estimated the total loss caused by fire and water . at $107,000, of which $70,000 was to the long-closed lumber company, which included a pickup truck stored in one of the burned buildings; $30,000 to products stored in another building by the F. R. Wood Products Co., and between $6,000 and $7,000 from fire and water damage to the homes. The loss estimate was furnished Chief Selby by officials of the F. R. Company and the First Financial Service Corp., which purchased the lumber. company complex in December, 1972 from the late Leon Koester, who took over its management in 1902. It has been unused since the purchase, except for storage. Damage to the utility poles, power lines and television cable could not be estimated. The fire burned in two a 300 pair telephone cable, leaving most telephone subscribers in the south end BLAZING EMBERS-Two firefighters pour water on blazing embers of the old J.A. Shade Lumber Co., sending a shower of sparks flying. Loss to the office building and many adjacent service buildings is expected to reach $107,000, firemen say. (Fogt Photo). Guard Alerted, 'Copters Watch Truckers By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS The Ohio National Guard sent helicopter patrols winging skyward today in northeastern Ohio to keep an eye on the trucker shutdown but planned little ground activity, a spokesman said. Oil Nations Continue Embargo Against U.S. BEIRUT. Lebanon (AP) - Saudi the embargo will be maintained until an Gov. John J. Gilligan called up about 900 men Sunday. They were ordered to assemble in their armories overnight and became active officially at B a.m., but a Guard spokesman said there would be little in the way of long lines of Trojan Found Dead Outside Residence jeeps rolling out or large convoy escort. Noting most of the sporadic violence associated with the trucker shutdown has come at night, the spokesman said highway and overpass patrols weren't expected until evening hours. Meanwhile, George Rynn, president of the Akron-based Council of Independent Truckers and one of the leaders of the shutdown, in its 16th day in parts of Ohio, termed the Guard callup unncessary, "a complete waste of the taxpayers' money" and "an imposition on the 900 men. "What little violence we had has decreased during the past few days due to our road patrols," Rynn added. A Guard spokesman said the troops, were "strictly backup" to the Ohio Highway Patrol. "We have no intention at all of breaking up the truck strike," he added. "The problem is the people who are being intimidated by the rocks and shots, "We're to do any missions that are given to us," the spokesman said. "If the patrol deems it necessary to make up a convoy, then we do it." But he said he anticipated there would be few instances of such activity today. of town without service. Among subscribers without service are Hartzell Industries, and Piqua Milling Co. Reports from crews on the scene indicate telephone service in the affected area would not be completely restored until 7 p.m. Telephone crews from Dayton and Springfield have been sent in to assist in restoring services, Ohio Bell Telephone Co. said. South Street School at 339 South, block east of the lumber company, undamaged, but closed today because of the cleanup activity in the area. (More photos on pages 10 and 16} The fire broke out shortly after 5:30 a.m., and before it was finally doused about 8 a.m., a total of 70 men, including all Piqua off-duty firemen, several pieces of equipment and men from the Troy Fire Department, and volunteer firemen from Covington and Fletcher, had been called to assist. Additional Piqua policemen also were called to help. Upon arriving at the scene, police firemen began to evacuate homes on Roosevelt and South, many of whom had to be awakened. Automobiles parked in the area were pushed out the fire zone. When the first contingent of Piqua ' firemen reached the scene they found what was formerly a lumber storage shed on the Commercial Street side almost entirely engulfed in flames. It was this shed that was being used storage purposes by the F. R. Products. Ousting winds blew the flames toward what was formerly the mill building, firemen later reported. From there flames, despite the efforts of firemen, spread to four other buildings along the Roosevelt Street side of the complex. Realizing the futility of attempting stamp out the fire, which by that was out of control, firemen turned their hose nozzles in the direction of the frame residential structures on virtually all sides of the block saving from serious damage, other than scorching, window, smoke and water damage. Once the main portion of the fire "knocked" down, and the danger to homes andother structures diminished, the blazes that remained throughout the leveled lumber yard were permitted to burn themselves out. Although there were no casulaties the many firemen who helped battle blaze, it was reported an elderly woman had to be removed to the hospital after she was evacuated from her home on South Street with a possible heart attack. The Shade Lumber Company' was established in Piqua in 1889 under name of Wright and Kuntz, and has been located at the same location, South Street, since that lime. Oddly enough, the first building was itself destroyed' by a fire in 1896. Joseph A. Shade was named manager of thefirm in 1921, but died a year The late Leon Koester, who had come work for Shade, took over its management in 1902. After the purchase of the property by the Frist Financial Service Corp. in 1972, the firm's inventory continued through Feb. 1, 1973, when business was terminated. The latest addition to the lumber company, made in 1941, consisted of office building, mill room and storage space for lumber, all under roof. Chief Selby said this morning he would ask the State Fire Marshal's office to send investigators to Piqua examine the fire debris in support of arson theory.