Another Fire in Skidmore

Fire is never a good thing, but it is an especially dangerous thing in a small town without a fire brigade.  Skidmore was such a town in 1901, but thanks to the men of Parrish’s blacksmith shop and the abundant availability of snow, Mr. Ashbrook’s photography studio was not lost.

From the February 15, 1901 Skidmore Standard, page 5:

Another Fire in Skidmore.

Last Monday while Fred Gill was in Ashbrooks studio, a little accident happened by which an oil stove, which was running, was upset.  Then followed quite a general mixup with Fred, Ashbrook, the red hot stove and the scattered and burning oil.

The chairs upset, the scenery looked scared; and the pretty girl pictures were even more frightened than if a paper mouse had blown across the room.  Ashbrook tried to take hold of the blaze and lead the stove out doors, but it wouldn’t lead that way and he only got his hands hot when he took hold of the blaze.  He finally got the stove out doors, but not until the oil had been scattered hither and yon around the room and was on fire.

Fred was knocked clear out of the studio in the first round, and running into Parrish’s blacksmith shop, jerked off his overcoat and throwing it on the blazing forge he picked up a poker or something, and told everybody to bring all the tongs in the shop to carry snow with, as Ashbrook was a-fire.  Everybody at once moved and in a short time the fire was very much put out at the excitement that was going on – in fact the fire was completely put out.

About this time, James Ross appeared on the scene and thinking he saw one poor little tiny spark of fire, shivering itself to death in a snow bank, he ran out with a scoop shovel, and loading it brim full up to the muzzle with snow, charged on the enemy firing the whole outfit at it, knocking a hole clear through the skylight.

After it was all over with, it was found that some damage had been done, and some had not been done, and people think what might have happened.  Ashbrook’s loss is about $50.

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