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FIre Starting in Furnace Room Burnes Entire
Interior and Roof of Structure


The fire siren awoke the people of Farnam about 12:30 o’clock yesterday morning to find that the Farnam grade school building was on fire. In less than an hour the entire structure was in a total ruin of flaming embers, with only the brick walls left standing, and them in danger of falling in at anytime.

The fire when first discovered was still in the furnace room but spread very rapidly, burning through the two floors to the roof at the northwest corner of the building and in fifteen minutes the roof was a mass of flames, so that nothing could done to save the building. The fire lighted up the entire town and could be seen for many miles, into the country.

The origin of the fire is unknown, as no one had been in the building since about nine o’clock in the evening, when Mr. Caswell had fixed the fire for the night. There was a large quantity of coal stored in the furnace room, which burned until Wednesday, when the water was turned on it and the fire put out.

The high school building which is about 50 feet west of the burned building was undamaged by the fire. This was due mostly to the fact that only a gentle breeze was blowing from the northwest and that water was kept turned on the wall from a small fire hose from the inside of the high school building. The thermometer registered about 15 below at the time of the fire.

The loss has been estimated at around $20,000, for the building and fixtures, however the cost of a new building to replace it will cost a great deal more than that figure. $15,000 worth of insurance was carried on the building and fixtures.

The building was built in 1908 and was used for both the grades and high school until 1924, when the present high school building was built. Besides the grades being housed in this building, the equipment of the manual training, home economics and music departments were in the basement of the grade building.

According to the latest information which we have been able to get there will be no school at least until the first of next week. The Stebbins building in the east part of town which was at one time the Farnam school building has been secured to use the rest of the term. The fifth, sixth, seventh and eight grades will be held in this building. The primary will be held in the normal training room and the third and fourth grades in the typewriting rooms at the high school.

Just what means of heating the high school building will be used is not yet known, but work is to be started today in the burned building to find out just what condition the fire left the heating plant so that heat can be gotten into the high school building as soon as possible.

The Farnam Echo 43(12):1, Thursday, 23 January 1930


Published: 8/16/2022 -
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