Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona on June 6, 1960 · Page 3
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Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona · Page 3

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Tucson, Arizona
Issue Date:
Monday, June 6, 1960
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Page 3
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MONDAY EVENING, JUNE e, tfMJ T U C S O N D A I L Y C I T I Z E N PAGE 3 Fire-Razed FirmWiU Be Rebuilt Continued From Pate 1 about 9:35 p.m. to find most of the yard engulfed In the blaze. Two esplosior- from paint thinner and o t h e r combustibles shot towers of flames more than 100 feet into the air. No serious injuries were reported. Several firemen required treatment for minor burns and smoke inhalation but none was hospitalized. GIGANTIC CLOUDS of white smoke from the blaze spread over the city, bringing the smell of fire 'Into thousands of homes and ·ending many residents scurrying to the scene. Hie flames were reported to be under control in about a half hour,.but most of the firefighters remained on the scene for at least 19 hours, until- 7 a.m. yesterday, extinguishing t h e smouldering debris.' · · . · · · ' · , ' -' · : "' :One truck remained.-''-at the ·eerieyesterday afternoon to take care- of several small fires which rekindled in the ruins; Other fire:men;were ordered to stand watch it the yard last-night in case of ''further eruptions. A Five engines and a ladder truck 1 -. were.'sent to the scene, in addition t a r n pickup truck used to haul gasoline and other supplies to the other vehicles. -At the peak of the blaze, 1 Asst. Chief John Steger reported; there were-45 firemen battling the 200- foot-long mass of flames. ; "^Approximately 500 gallons of paint thinnen and other .highly inflammable liquids and a southeast wind helped the blaze cut through the lumber stacks like they were so many matchsticks. One of the first persons *t the ·cene was Jack Kurzhals, of 2637 N. Tucson Blvd., a senior at · Catalina High School. "I was driving south on Tucson boulevard," he said. "As I started to pass the intersection at Grant," he,said, "I* happened to look over toward the' yard. I saw a white flash. There was a big puff of smoke, and then j I saw flames." Kurzhals said the flames leaped from the west side of the yard ·nd engulfed a 30-foot shed near the front -of the company from both ends. By the time he stopped his car and ran to the front of the company, he could tee several trucks inside were already on fire. Kurzhals said the fire trucks arrived about five minutes later and by then nearly the whole lumber pile seemed to be ablaze. The flames swept into the office and then spread out through the rest of the yard, he said.! WHILE SOME of the firemen fought to control the main blaze, others soaked nearby structures to-keep the. flames from spreading. Windblown sparks frequently threatened the Upham Nursery next door and a service station across the street, but no fires were reported. ' The Upham building was partially protected from direct contact with the flames by 'a small nursery garden* Two small dwellings on the other side of the lumber fire also were endangered.' Although traffic was- blocked off for more than a quarter of a mile around the burning; structure, it failed to nrpve"' +·""- sands ef persons from walking .to the scene. - ' Hundreds of motorists also parked as close to the barriers as rwssible, steeped out for a quick look at the fire, and returned to find their vehicles hemmed in by scores of other cars that,streamed into the area throughout the evening. A police-.lieutenant, two sergeants and 24 patrolmen,, plus several sheriff's deputies, had the task-, of keeping the throng away from fire hazards and the firefighting operation. Amons the hazards were fallen power lines, fiery debris whipped into the air and · the flame-throwing explo- lions. THE CROWD was estimated by police as one of the largest since a Haze destroyed nearly a half block of the S A W Lumber Co., 5100 E. Speedway, just three years ago. More than 5.000 spectators were on hand to watch the destruction of that yard. Saturday night's fire also was the biggest in city since the Mitchell Furniture Store, 7M N. Stone Ave., was gutted nearly 14 months ago. ,The loss in mat blaze was believed to be at least $235,000. Hauert and Armstrong have been partners in the Grant Road Lumber Co. for the past 12 years. During that time one previous fire had been reported at the yard--* $6,MO blaze which de- atroyed a woodworking shop in 1950. .THIS TIME virtually the entire yard was destroyed, including a retail store and office. Only a few ttacks of lumber at the rear of the site may be salvageable. However, H a u e r t announced that his company would be open for business today. "We've rent-' *4 * store at 2727 E. Grant Rd and wilt be trying to serve all ·V regular caotoiners," he said. 'HHwrt s«M *e firm has a storage yard at 33B E: Mft St. 'and that jetisral other companies have WFBnwl him wpfpires aira the use «f flwir vehicles. "Th* kss of our /Witt Jwrt US most right! Ty ME * ·O«liWQ. ! Aft «f toe oonwwny's weorite t IWiffitft MCfd Wfc WfflW Co-Owner Of Lumber Firm Was Calm, Philosophical the promptness with which it was discovered firemen were able to keep (he (lames contained. ! "You saved it then," Hauert I exclaimed to MorrlsscU, who had j spotted the fire out his back win! dow. CALL P. L DAILY OWNER SEES YARD BURN --Citizen Phot* Flanked by two of his employe?, Samuel L. Hauert, co-partner of the Grant Road Lumber Co., intently watches flames destroy the establishment. With him are Frank C. Voorhees, 2801 E. Alta Vista St., (left), and R. Weldon Dunn, 2321 E. 2"lst St. By TOM DUDDLESTON You might as well be philosophi cal as you watch flames eat up your $250,000 enterprise. There's not much you can do about it, anyway. And Samuel L. Hauert, a copartner, realized this when h c j arrived on the · scene Saturday j night and saw his Grant Road Lumber Co. aflame, from one end to the other. "Well boys," we'll have to start thinking now about a new store layout," Hauert said to a couple of his employes as they stood, eyes fixed on the flames. The three chatted as masonry cracked and tumbled, paint cans exploded and it became evident that the lumber yard and store, "jammed full" with merchandise, would be a total loss. ' · · · . "I just hope the safe holds," Hduert said u s . firemen moved in from the front and started! soaking down the office area. J "But even if it doesn't there's one consolation," he said. ''Fred (Fred E, Armstrong, Hauert's co-partner) has an accounts receivable list at home." (The safe containing company records came through intact.) Armstrong was spared the sight of the fire. He was en route to California on vacation when it broke out. "I'm supposed to leave for Europe in three weeks." Hauert said. "Now I don't know what j I'm Roing to do." j llaucrt, who lives *t 2235 E. | Hampton Si., was attending n party st El Conquistador Hotel i when the fire started. He was i paged and given the bad news, . One of those on the scene expressing sympathy to Hauerl was a man the co-partner credited with saving the lumber yard in 'a fire on Mar. 17, 1950. " j He is Henry D. Morrissctl of Santa Maria, Calif., and formerly of 2545 E. Water St., behind the lumber company. j The fire destroyed the woodworking shop and. caused about $6,000 damage. But because of Hauert was overheard once! complaining that he thought a j lack of pressure had hampered i firefighters. 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