Distillery Fire article 17Jun1893
HIGHSPIRE DISTILLERY BURNED. of Over five Thousand Barrels Whisky Consumed. For several hours last night the fire fiend had full play at Highspire, and when the hreman finally obtained control of the names sometime alter midnight the extensive extensive plant of the Wilson distillery company, company, limited, with the exception of two bonded warehouses, was a mass of smould ering rums. .Nothing bat the hardest kind of work on the part of the Uarris - burg and Middletown firemen saved the two big warehouses with more than ten thousand barrels of whisky worth at least $300,000. When it became apparent that nothing could be saved and that the big warehouses were in danger. Major Smith, the manager of the company, spurred the tired firemen on to renewed efforts with a promise to pay them f 500 if they would save the two warehouses left standing, and they succeeded. .Everything else was destroyed, includ ing the distillery buildings, barrel factory, office and "A" warehouse in which was stored 5,000 barrels of whisky, worth at least $150,000. This whisky flowed over the neighborhood and became a lake of fire. It even reached the river and burned upon the surface of the water like oil. There were not a few who scooped up the fiery liquid in buckets and drank it as it cooled. Chief Engineer Kohlcr, of the Harrisburg nre department, manifested a lot of good sense by preventing the breaking open of a bairel of whisky which had rolled out of the burned warehouse. The loss on buildings and plant is about $30,000. cov ered by insurance, and the loss on whisky about $150,000, partially insured. - Much of the whisky in the burned warehouse was owned by Baltimore, Harribburg and other dealers throughout the country, The firemen saved the P. R. R. station. the row of houses near the station and other dwellings. Several stables near the distillery were .destroyed. The firemen never ceised work until 5 o'clock this morning. Major Smith cannot imagine how .the .fire originated and believes it was of incendiary origin, as the operations at the distillery for the summer were suspended two weeks ago. The blaze started in the northeastern corner corner of the distillery about 9 o'clock and spread quickly. The Friendship and Pax ton steamers and hose carriages and the hose carriages of the Washington and Hope lire companies were sent to the scene and did good work. Hanlen Brothers lose 120 barrels of whisky, which was stored in the burned warehouse, but it was fully insured. James liuss also loses a few barrels. Hugo Schutzenbach thought he had lost 100 barrels, but was pleased to dis cover to - day that his whisky was in one of the other warehouses. The Government Government will lose considerable tax on the whisky lost. The freight warehouse of the P. It. U. was burned, but its contents were saved.