OAKDALE FIRE, APRIL 11, 1913


$50,000 Worth of Property Destroyed Yesterday
Wind Fans Flames and Almost All of Business Section is Burned But Little Insurance to Cover Loss


OAKDALE, Tenn, April 11.  A fire swept through Oakdale early this morning destroying over $50,000 worth of Property.  The blaze wiped out a greater portion of the business district and for a time threatened the entire section of the city near the business district.  No fire protection was available and only bucket brigades were used in the efforts to subdue the blaze.

The first discovery of the blaze was made in the Buttram Hotel, which was only recently completed and is a
frame structure two stories in height.  The fire then had gained considerable headway and from this building spread to others.  A heavy rain with a high wind worked against the volunteer firemen in their efforts to get the fire under control.  The room in which the fire was discovered is directly over the kitchen of the hotel.  It had been occupied by a man who left on an early train.  The presumption is that he threw a lighted match on the floor.  The discovery of the fire was made about 4 o'clock.

Following are the business houses which were destroyed and the approximate loss:

    Buttram Hotel, $8,500
    People's Store, $10,000
    Freel's Drug Company, $5,000
    Central Telephone Company, $1,500
    Oakdale Dispatch Printing Company, $4,000
    W. Y. Boswell, City Attorney, $1,500
    Oakdale Meat Market $500
    Wheeler Barbershop, $500
    J. E. Patching, residence, $3,000
    W. J. Johnson, two residences, $3,000
    and other smaller losses

The heaviest loser in the blaze was the People's Department Store.  The stock of goods was very large and with the exception of insurance to the extent of $5,000, is a total loss.  The Dispatch Printing Company lost the entire plant.  This is the only newspaper in the town and occupied a three -story building with a concrete base and two frame upper stories.

In the office of W. Y. Boswell, all the records of the city were lost.

One of the heaviest losses is from furniture which was ruined by the heavy rain.  Over fifty residents emptied their homes, expecting the fire to reach them.. The rain ruined furniture piled in the streets.

The fire was all on the west side of the Emory River.  On the north side, the railroad companies have provided fire protection, but where the blaze of yesterday morning occured, there was absolutely no protection.

The blaze was gotten under control by 8 o'clock.  This was done by the heroic work of volunteers.  Several of these men were cut by breaking glass, but none hurt seriously.

The fire is one of the hardest blows to Oakdale that has been felt in many years.

Practically no insurance was carried by the owners of the burned buildings.  The rate had been advanced recently and was almost prohibitive.

The destruction of the telephone plant put all telephones in the town and county out of commission.  This is a local company and supplies telephone service to practically all of Morgan County.

From the Chattanooga Times