Farnam Has $50,000 Conflagaration
Best Place Mercantile Company’s
Building and Stock is
Sunday morning at about 1:30 a fire was discovered in the Best Place Mercantile company’s store in our neighboring town, Farnam, which destroyed the entire stock and building, including the A.O.U.W. hall and its paraphenalia.
Immediately after the alarm was sounded the volunteers began work in earnest, but the fire had gained such headway that it was impossible to extinguish it and the firemen’s efforts were diverted to the saving of other buildings in the immediate vicinity. Owing to the fact that the building was covered with asbestos lined sheet metal, it was a difficult matter to fight the flames effectively, but had it not been for this covering, other buildings, doubtless, would have been burned, as it would have been impossible to keep the flames from spreading.
The buildings across the street, both west and south, were very much endangered and it was necessary to continuously keep a stream of water trained upon them to prevent them from igniting. The barn in the rear of C. G. Larson’s was in imminent danger to the last. This structure had recently been filled with hay and had it caught fire, practically the whole portion of the town south would have been devastated. The residence property of M. J. Tuft north of the store was in constant danger, there being a light breeze blowing in that direction making it necessary to keep a careful watch and also keep the building thoroughly drenched with water.
The boys of the fire department and the assisting citizens deserve much credit for the heroic manner in which they fought the fire fiend, and although every effort on their part were exerted to save the building and stock, the fire had gained so rapidly that all efforts proved futile.
The origin of the fire is, and probably always will be, a mystery. As near as can be ascertained, it started in the back part of the building where there were no tires, matches or any thing of that nature.
The loss to the mercantile company is estimated: Stock, $35,000. Building, $12,000. Fixtures, $3,500. Covered by insurance. The property in the A.O.U.W. hall was valued at $1,800. Insured for $1,200. Degree of Honor, $400. Insured for $200. M. W. A. loss $400. No insurance.
The contents of the safe belonging to the Best Place were more or less damaged by the intense heat.