Tuesday, July 5, 2016

10 Part Series on Major Fires of Saint-Hyacinthe (Part 1)

The first big fire was on 14 May 1854

The first great fire which firefighters were faced occurred on May 14, 1854 in the kitchen of a brewery on the corner of Bourdages and Cascades. The results of this fire does not indicate any loss of life, but destroyed part of the city center, a brewery, two hotels, 40 homes and the College of St. Hyacinthe.

The circumstances of the fire are really unfortunate. A servant of the hotel was browning meat in the kitchen becomes distraught when the fire was lit in the stove. She spills all the grease on the wooden floor which immediately catches fire and no one can extinguish that fire, and in no time the fire spreads to the building.

The fire quickly spreads to the other institutions on both sides of the streets of Bourdages and Cascades. In no time, all the houses in the square formed by Cascades, Bourdages, Girouard and St. Dominic are in ashes. And that's not all, the flames, fueled by very strong winds, try to spread to the north side of Girouard, but fortunately the fire only did light damage on Girouard; but again, it was reduced to ashes, before dying, the former College of St. Hyacinthe, at the precise spot where we find today the bishopric.

(Translation may have errors)

(c)2016 Linda Sullivan-Simpson

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