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Local Comics Classified Member Associated Press The Newspaper For The Home MONDAY, -FEBRUARY 4, 1952 Second Section Firemen Check Serious Blaze In Business District Potomac Edison Building Badly Damaged By Fire Entire Block Faced Threat; Cause Sought Damage Estimated At $200,000; Started On Third Floor Of PE A portion of Baltimore Street was turned into a blazing inferno thas morning when fire of undetermined origin gutted the three-story Potomac Edison Building and caused undetermined water and smoke damage in the adjacent three-story Shinnamon Store building. For a time, firemen feared tli blaze might spread to the entire 5 block. The fire, believed to have starte on the third floor of the Potoma Edison. building, was the first o Cumberland's main business stree since the disastrous Peskin blaze ir 1939. The first alarm was turned in a 8:44, bringing Engine Company No 1 and Truck Company No. 1 to th scene. The other three engine com panies responded in quick succes sion and volunteer department from Corriganville and Wiley Ford supplementing the fire - fighting forces. More Than 100 Fight More than 100 men battled the blaze which raged out of control for about two hours. No estimate of the damage was available, but it is believed it may reach as much as $200,000. Most of the damage was centered In the Potomac Edison structure from which dense, black smoke bil- Aerial Ladder Firemen Draw lowed hundreds of feet into the air over a wide area. Business on the street was practically at a standstill all morning as thousands jammed the downtown section to view the spectacular blaze. Auxiliary police helped direct traffic. Two persons were hurt, neither seriously. Assistant Fire Chief Rob- srt Long sustained a burned hand while pulling out a blazing hose line and Homer Dicken, a lineman for the Potomac Edison, sustained a back injury when he fell from a pole while cutting a high tension line into the building. Power Cut Off Power was cut off on the side of the street where the fire raged. , The dense smoke and intense heat prevented firemen from battling the flames from the Inside. Tons of water were poured into the buildings from about a dozen high pressure lines, including one atop the tower of the aerial truck which was given its first real test. Firemen managed to bring flames under control about 11 o'clock, but hose lines and flre appartus still had the section of Baltimore Street and Mechanic to Centre cut on* to traffic at 1 p. m. The roof of the Potomac Edison building was eaten through by the flames in a number of places, with the second floor and third floors gutted. The lower floor, which houses the business offices and appliance store of the Potomac ,Edison and Maurice's Department Store —were damaged mostly by water and smoke. At one time, there was as much as 18 inches of water un the second floor of the burned structure. Proves Worth In First Test Cumberland's $32,000 aerial ladder fire truck proved Its worth in its first real test today by playing a major part in halting a near- disastrous four-alarm blaze that threatened the downtown business district. Fire and police officials credited 'he big apparatus, which was formally accepted by the city in August, 1049, with checking flames nefore ':hey reached adjoining buildings. The fire was discovered about 1:45 in the three-story brick building occupied by the Potomac Edison Company and Maurice's on Baltimore Street. Smoke was seen pouring from a S OB f ed a devotion to duty and a third floor window, but first re- . re to do a g°° d Job under ports stated fire originated on the second floor where the PE kept records. A telephone call from an unidentified person summoned firemen. Central Company No. 1 responded at 8:44, followed by East Side and West Side companies after Box 45 at Baltimore and Liberty Streets was pulled. South End firemen Praise, Avert Major Disaster County Units Join Fight With City Department; Police Also Applauded City and volunteer firemen from the county and nearby West- Virginia are credited with averting a major disaster in the Baltimore Street fire this morning. Police and Fire Commissioner John J. Long, who was on the scene shortly after the first alarm, commended firemen for "their teamwork and courage." He said firemen, by their efforts, showed up next and later Corriganville and Wiley Ford volunteer firemen arrived. Less than five minutes after arrival, the hydraulically-operated 85-foot ladder was in full operation under the direction of Assistant ihJef Robert L. Long. here were four firemen on the ladder with two lines of hose. Long skillfully manipulated the adder to break third-story win- ows which resisted water pressure. Dense smoke forced some fire ighters to don gas masks. Despite falling glass and other ebris, no firemen were reported reated' at local hospitals. At the scene, fire officials specu- ated that Cumberland would have xperienced one of its worst fires If ; had. not been for the aerial lad- er. The aerial truck replaced a 1905 model apparatus purchased when he city's paid fire department was rganized March 26, 1907. The ap- aratus answers all two-alarm calls, xcept in cases of grass and brush res or when officials know the dditlonal equipment will be n&ed- d. Clerk Discovered Blaze A girl clerk in the Potomac Edition Company offices discovered the blaze. According to reports, she smelled. smoke as the office force started to report for work and went to the second floor to investigate. Upon opening the door to that floor she saw billowing clouds of smoke. Retreating to the main floor she sounded CityEi Union Opposes Manager Move Local 812, Municipal Employes Union, went on record today opposing a city manager for Cumberland as the Junior Association of Commerce informed the Mayor and Council it would have petitions for a referendum by Friday. Calvin W. Shipes, president of the local, said the union was not in favor of a city manager who, he added, would cost the city $18,000 to $20,000 and would be "a burden to the taxpayers." In addition, he would need an assistant, the union president, continued. Shipes pointed out that Cumberland cannot afford to pay that amount of money and cited a need for additional personnel in other existing departments of the city. Shipes asserted that a strong form of mayor and council government would be cheaper and could be accomplished by raising the salary of the top executive officer. This, he said, would be a better plan than a city manager and would be less expensive. Meanwhile, Henry A. Mackey, president of the Jaycees, informed the alarm. • the council at its meeting today that Henry W. Price, district manager Petitions are being circulated to have the city manager type of administration put to a referendum adverse conditions." Long termed the blaze "A very nasty fire." At the same time, he paid tribute to the work ol the regular Police Department and the Auxiliary Police. The fire occurred at the height of the traffic movement as downtown workers rode or walked to their jobs. Traffic was quickly rerouted, pedestrian traffic blocked off from the stricken area and firemen went about their work unhampered. Retired Firemen Help „„„„« Two retired members of the Fire At times De Partment pitched into the fl?ht soon after it was reported. They are Jeremiah T. Defibaug-h, retired fire chief, and R. Paul EeJd, retired former acting chief. In addition to Cumberland firemen, Wiley Ford, and Corriganville volunteer fire companies took part in the battle. The companies responded through a plan devised after the disastrous Hyndman, Pa., fire on Christmas Day, 1949. Several firemen were overcome by the dense smoke and become ill. After a brief rest, however, they resumed their posts. Policemen on the 1 a. m. to 9 a. m. shift stayed on duty at the direction of Police Chief R. Emmett Plynn. He also called out the Auxiliary Police for patrol duty. After about a half'hour, the area between Liberty Street and the Embassy Theater was roped off and police would allow no one but firemen, police, newspapermen and owners of buildings in the area. Water Supply Adequate Cumberland's water supply proved its worth. George M. Hitchcock, superintendent of the Evitts Creek Water Company, said as soon as he learned of the fire, two and one-half million gallons of water were made available from the impounding dam. Both reservoirs are full, Hitchcock said, and there was enough water "to fight the fire all day if necessary." Smoke billowing from the structure was seen for miles. At times as it puffed up, spectators likened it to the aftermath of "an atomic bomb explosion." Anxious store owners near the scene scanned the blaze. Many clerks reported late for work, but there was little business as every one was watching the fire. Members of the Mayor and Council joined the spectators. Council was a half hour late getting its session underway. The situation was not without its humor. A fireman, soaking wet and dirty after a closeup fight with the fire, was asked by a wag: "What are you doing here? Working?" The fireman who had had a hand injured, replied, "No, I burned my hand on a gas stove up at the fire station." of the Potomac -Edison Company. Mid at noon today that an office will be opened tomorrow in the storeroom vacated by Lane's a women's shop, several weeks ago in March. He said the petitions should be in the hands of the council by Friday women o MVWJJ, otvci«,i wt,^*vo u.gu. — —•— ~* v*»v vuu*ii*ji u^ .riiutiy This storeroom Is just two doors; for verification and to meet the 30 east of the fire-damaged structure, day before election requirement. east of the fire-damaged structure The office will be for the convenience of persons wishing to pay their electric power and light bills Raymond C. Dorn, secretary of the Junior Association, is chairman of the committee to petition for the eClrlC pUWCi UllU U£ilt, Uiil^. -• w»*v, ^unlllliLLt.*; IAJ ^rcl-iblUl! 1OF LHC Price said the most damage was i referendum. He has already started done to the second and third floors | work. Mackey announced yesterday. of the building, but he would not This afternoon, 50 Jaycees, Char- venture an estimate of the loss. The terites and other interested persons floor of the PE suffered from water which damaged electrical appliances. Records In Safes The second floor was used as offices and to keep accounting records. Price said the accounting rec- are soliciting for more than 1,000 j signers. State PTA Head Speaker Tonight Joseph Hunter, Baltimore, president of the Maryland Congress of Parents and Teachers, will speak at a meeting of the Allcgany County Council of Parent and Teacher Associations today at 8 p. m. at West Side School. Hunter will take part in a forum on "Do the Junior and Senior High Schools of AHegany County Need PTA." Others who will participate j in the discussion are Lewyn C.I ALBRIGHT—Leroy Parker, 21. SPECTACULAR MIDTOWN FIRE — Tnc heart of Cumberland's business district, was threatened by fire for nearly two hours this morning as all city firemen and scores of volunteers battled to control flames that damaged the Potomac Edison Company building and adjoining properties on Baltimore Street. The top photo<*r?ph shows flames biilowinc from windows of the PE building, and the lower picture is a close view of firemen on aerial and stationary ladders in front of the three-story structure. Cumberland Veteran ! Returns From Korea ftucja. T^ . I .i«^ The referendum must be advenis- D r S ; SUp<? ™ So1 " of J unlor hif?h j Pinto. ed not later than Febniarv 18 if it 'f°f '" A " e(fany C ? unty: M "' MICIUEL-Wiltaur W.. 73. Keyscr. is to go on the general" electo ^^ Buckley member of the w . Va . ballots. If it is not on general elec- ''f- "^ C T \ - ° SHARP-Friwar.1 RS Frosthurtr. tion ballots, then th/m«vnr ,^' On; ""• Ralph ™ m ™^' PTA ballots, then must, ord the mayor Stewart, a student ron to check on condition of the! The question of a city manager records. The third floor was used for Cumberland is the first major for general storage purposes Marcus, a student, at High School. Dr. Adam W. Va. SHARP—Edward, 85, Frostbtirg. Leroy Albrijtht Leroy Parker Albright. 21, .., Pinto, died this morning in Me-! A former For morial Hospital. He was a member 'student, he was Cpl. Thomas O. Hull, son of Mr.! and Mrs. Henry W. Hull. Sr., 441 iRncp Street, who was stricken with- hemorrhapic fever while serving with the Fifth Cavalry in Korea, has. returned homo for a 30-dav Mr. and Mrs. Richard C. McMil-j HIVJ1 jn 1 i njtTJJiUrtl. JTlt: \t iu i il lilLN issue injected into the present city ; °** f '^^^ ° f the C ° linCi1 ' c ' f thc Pint ° Mennonite Church Some S "of the announced»candi- ' The f ° rum ls timely in thal Alle ~ .. damage to his business as "in the dates, including incumbents were;^ ^"J* 1S the ° n ' J ° tnousands." members of the Chartentes. strong : slat f *!" ch d ° e ^ not have Louis V. Shinnamon, who oper-i advocates of Home Rule and a city gna " lzau ° ns ln ^ ™& schools, ac,««, a shoe store in the building'manager. other candidates are ; cordm E to association officials. r.ext to the PE structure said he;voicing opposition and still others could not give an estimate of dam- nave marie np comment. Meeting Toni<*hl age to his stock. His damage was Mackey said after the announce- " c the -result of water which poured ment last week that the Jaycees- Plans for the 1952 drive for funds Surviving ire IV* *> u '" vln - ale n -s and Mary iLeasei nirrv uar ° Albright. the birth of a d.iusluer this n.orn- inp at Memorial Hospital. A daughter wns born to Mr. P.no Mrs. Wallace Malamphy, 23 Carpenter Street, Ridcclf.y, this morn-! S at Memorial Hrv-pi'al. Mr. and Mrs. John F. Da;;m. ..jfurloush terminate;., he will report Hill Street, annomw thr son this mornincr at Rev. \ era Buchanan Injured On Turnpiki BEDFORD. Pa. — i. •P«> of MrKeo.sport. Progress Seen On Crosstowii Bridge Plans Committee Says Span Part Of State Program Of Roads Expansion Confidence was expressed today that the long-dreamed of crosstown bridge here will become a reality in a few years. The Crosstoxvn Bridge Committee, appointed by the Mayor and Council to study the proposal, said the crosstown bridge is a key link in plans being prepared by the State Roads Commission for Western Maryland. The group, appointed in November, met last month with the SRC and representatives of the Federal Roads Administration in Baltimore. The committee pointed out that the bridge would not only be of tremendous value to the city but would be a help to the state road system. It was proposed that the bridge would provide a good approach.to the city for U. S. Route 40 and would also enable U. S, Route 220 use the same structure. Members of the SRC are aware of the difficult traffic situation here, the committee said, and indicated their willingness to help solve the problem. The report continued:. "In regard to the type of structure and location there was complete agreement between the Committee and the members of the State Roads Commission. On the maps which the commission are preparing on the over-all traffic problem in Western Maryland, the crosstown bridge is the key link. Financing Explored "The question of financing such a structure was thoroughly explored. The actual construction costs of ;he bridge would be borne primarily :y the State Roads Commission of Maryland together with financial assistance from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company and the Federal Roads Administration. The City's share in the cost of the development would be the furnishing of the necessary rights-of-way for the construction of the bridge and .ts approaches. In addition to this, City of Cumberland would probably have to pay some part of the engineering costs of the project. While it is impossible to estimate these costs at this time, they would appear to be within the financial ibility of the city and be a sound investment in the development of Cumberland. Furthermore, the city's ihare of these costs could be materially reduced by the use of matching funds available from the Federal Roads Administration. "At the present time, there are no :tate roads funds available for such i project. All present funds are ROW earmarked for the completion jf projects now under way. At the 953 session of the General Assem- ly of Maryland, a 15-year program or road development for the Slate if Maryland will be .submitted. SRC Major Hem "The State Roads Commission as- ured the committee that the Cum- icrlnnd crosstown bridge would be no of the major items included In urn a long range program. It is hus apparent that if Cumberland s to have a crosstown brijge, It will e necessary for the people of the umberland area to sunport the ne range program of the State of Maryland. "In view of the fa.ct that several cars are bound to elapse before any ork could be begun on a cro.sc'lown ridge, it, is deemed advispbie to cep available xuw Jane! as will bo Rcossary for the development. To lis end, William P. ChilJs. Jr., the lirf engineer of the State Road.s ommission, will prepare ai'd s«nd the Municipal Planning Commis- on and the city enginery n map lowing the proposed location of ic crosstown bridcc p.nd its ap- roachfis. With this information vailablc. the City of Cumberland, irough. the city enc:ine«r'.s office nd the Planning Commission, should be able to control futuie development in the area to bs occupied by the crosstown bridge project, x x X " The committee voiced tnc opinion the bridge would be of great, value in solving not only traffic and park- in" problems but in cnr.ourarinp the commercial and Industrial growth of (.he community. It was signed by James Alfred Avirett us chairman Comrpjsrionr-r •Tohn J. Long. Anthony Saeli. man- aj'.-r of the Chamber of Commerce. William H. Lnnmert, president of Hill Hisrh School hospitalized over- i Burhnn.in i I is in fair rondi-ion in Bedford Memorial Ho'Viitai todav af"vr sufliT- inp injuries in :he Penn:-ylV!ii Mrs. Bur-ha:: January 11. When Fort Meade for .vitaae icr -,, ~ ~ ~ Homcinakprs To Meet sisters, Violet. Ha<tel, Anna. Ruth and Mary, all at home; four brothers. Chester, of nrar Crr-.sap- Thc Bedford Roar) Homrmakcrs town, and Joseph, Elvin and George,;Club will meet at 7:30 p. m. tomor- slso at home, and his m.<trrnal.row at Zion Methodist Church. gf:uidparont,s, Mr and Mrs Char'.os Roll call will on "Citizenship." Lease, Rawlings. -— —— Dean'.* Lisl ropor,'," tnc resuii, ui »<t'.ci wiiiL-ii puiutru,»•<-!>!, i«at wt-e\ UYAI tne jaycees- nans tor the 1952 drive for funds: The body will remain at thr- hcnv ^ n I/eai from the upper floor and smoke, would sponsor petitions for a vote will be discussed by the Alles?anyi and services will be'conducted Wed- ! ivar L which enveloped thc building. or. the city manager idea, he and County Rheumatic Fever and Heart: nrsday at. 2 p. m. from Pinto Men- land has'l The Potomac Edison building, other Jaycees were besieged by Association at 8 o'clock tonight in nor.ite Church with Rev. Chester l;--r for r; housing the PE quarters and Mau-icalls from people wanting to sign,the office of Postmaster Thoma.s F M "-'— ; -" •-'-•-'- •'--- '-(Continued on Page 15) I the forms. IConlon. i' The body will remain at thr : hems DeWitt. RD 6. Curnbor- s been named to the dcar.'r- rhc first. >e;n»vs:er of r! - .c off.riatin?. 1.051-52 academic yr-ar at pas:or. (Continued on Page 151 ton College, Chest-ertown. Mr. and Mi ncar.ville, nr. twin rinuih'r- onal Hrv-.p:;.--.; Stro?*. F:T,-t.h : ;r ri , yCst^rda 1 ' Memorial Ho-pit.-d. Mr. and Mr.-. Ls-rrrrn-e M; Wa s h: r. c r or; - L ?f A pa r - rr. r::' •, terday at Merncriai H<v=o:'al. "i r •••••". i) i. > * i Rpp. Vera! ltlr Board o f Allraany County Com- missionprs. Robert w. Yoiine and Gfnrctfi Millonson. members. The report drew from | Thomas S. Port a word of Irnfiir. mishap on 1 'or the committee. "That is an intelligent the Mayor other r-ommittrrs we appoint''would <vnrk as v:?l\" Mrs. Lucille W of strop's and public prr.pcri.v ted x Ip.t.tor of reply b? sent "> the rommiup" and the round! Approved. Fwo Trucker* (inilty The C\:'.'.~^.'-':\?i:.(': Ornrnf and f-'::p;>iy Company wa« finer! S34.--. : , in-:, ir.on-h r,:; a .<.; ito :r.'t.->r rharre <~,;" r,vpry;^<:!i:;?. r>- rt' r< W.-.r.T, r.f Oi'itov.'-. paid .p.. fir.o r,i J43.45 on a similar co\;r.t. iue Tomorrow The Parent-Teacher Association of Carver Hi.srh School will meet, Rt 3 p. m. tomorrow at tho .srhool. Committee reports and highlights of the rccer:'. child study conference :<r. tho Board o! Education offiro v •:':'. be prr-.-r-surri. John Worm a r:-:. 'president, will preside.