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1924 fire devastates Newbern

The worst fire to hit the village of Newbern came on Dec. 4, 1924. The Southwest Times on the next day carried the following headline, “Big blaze at Newbern destroys many homes,” and the subheading, “Pulaski Department called on but shortage of water makes fighting difficult.”
The story noted, “This turned out to be the town’s worst fire. Before the flames were subdued, practically one-fourth of the town was in ashes, many of its inhabitants, who had spent their entire lives here in this historical place, were homeless, with the accumulations of their entire lifetime left in ruins. The fire started in an old store building that belonged to J.T. King, where workmen had been installing equipment.”
A faulty flue was believed to be the cause of the fire. The newspaper reported that alarm was given at 6:05 p.m., and the Pulaski company arrived at about 6:28 p.m.
Nearly every well and cistern or other water source in the place was pumped dry, but there was not nearly enough water to contain the leaping flames. The area destroyed by flames covered a road frontage of about 400 feet, and a large crowd gathered from all directions. The firefighters did an excellent job of confining the fire to the area it covered.
Many people whose homes were burned were advanced in age, and it was good to read that the homes of neighbors were thrown open to the homeless.
After leaving her burning home, one lady discovered that she had dropped some money, and returned to get it. As she came back out, the roof began to fall, and she was saved by an alert Pulaski fireman.
A small child, Isaac Duncan, was said to have been rescued from a home by a black man. Two large hogs were burned to death because they ran back into the fire after being released from their nearby pen.
Among buildings lost in the fire was the one that covered the town reservoir. The old brick reservoir still stands as a historical landmark.
Public water now runs through the village, complete with fire hydrants. Village citizens breathe more easily now, with a good supply of water and an excellent volunteer fire department.
Newbern Fire Department takes part in all community events in the village. At Christmastime firemen help prepare for the annual Christmas Parade. And each year they help get the place ready for the annual Fall Festival of Arts and Crafts., and handle the large volume of traffic moving through the village, directing vehicles to parking lots.
The department has a booth in the festival where they serve the areas most tasty country ham sandwiches. The fire chief is Miller Farris, who served for many years as a fireman before being named chief. Farris is a dedicated public servant.

Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

1924 fire devastates Newbern

The worst fire to hit the village of Newbern came on Dec. 4, 1924. The Southwest Times on the next day carried the following headline, “Big blaze at Newbern destroys many homes,” and the subheading, “Pulaski Department called on but shortage of water makes fighting difficult.”
The story noted, “This turned out to be the town’s worst fire. Before the flames were subdued, practically one-fourth of the town was in ashes, many of its inhabitants, who had spent their entire lives here in this historical place, were homeless, with the accumulations of their entire lifetime left in ruins. The fire started in an old store building that belonged to J.T. King, where workmen had been installing equipment.”
A faulty flue was believed to be the cause of the fire. The newspaper reported that alarm was given at 6:05 p.m., and the Pulaski company arrived at about 6:28 p.m.
Nearly every well and cistern or other water source in the place was pumped dry, but there was not nearly enough water to contain the leaping flames. The area destroyed by flames covered a road frontage of about 400 feet, and a large crowd gathered from all directions. The firefighters did an excellent job of confining the fire to the area it covered.
Many people whose homes were burned were advanced in age, and it was good to read that the homes of neighbors were thrown open to the homeless.
After leaving her burning home, one lady discovered that she had dropped some money, and returned to get it. As she came back out, the roof began to fall, and she was saved by an alert Pulaski fireman.
A small child, Isaac Duncan, was said to have been rescued from a home by a black man. Two large hogs were burned to death because they ran back into the fire after being released from their nearby pen.
Among buildings lost in the fire was the one that covered the town reservoir. The old brick reservoir still stands as a historical landmark.
Public water now runs through the village, complete with fire hydrants. Village citizens breathe more easily now, with a good supply of water and an excellent volunteer fire department.
Newbern Fire Department takes part in all community events in the village. At Christmastime firemen help prepare for the annual Christmas Parade. And each year they help get the place ready for the annual Fall Festival of Arts and Crafts., and handle the large volume of traffic moving through the village, directing vehicles to parking lots.
The department has a booth in the festival where they serve the areas most tasty country ham sandwiches. The fire chief is Miller Farris, who served for many years as a fireman before being named chief. Farris is a dedicated public servant.

Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.