Saturday, July 9, 2016
10 Part Series on the Major Fires of Saint-Hyacinthe (Part 4) May 20, 1903
The weather is dry and sunny. A strong western wind raises dust in the unpaved streets. About noon, fire broke out at the factory side, at the corner of Saint-Antoine and Saint-Hyacinthe (Hotel-Dieu). The alarm is given by an employee of the foundry Dussault and Lamoureux.
Immediately, the nine regular firefighters and 15 volunteer firefighters who make up the fire brigade are on the scene. Already, the fire crosses the Hotel Dieu Street and Dussault foundry and Lamoureux is on fire to spread to neighboring houses.
The unique steam pump is not sufficient to the task. At two o'clock the factory Hudon and National laundry, on the rue Saint-Antoine, burn. The St-Jacques mayor seeks help firefighters arriving to Montreal 2 h 45.
Realizing immediately that the situation is totally out of control because of the wind, they post on the rue Saint-Antoine with the intention of saving the sewing room Sainte-Geneviève. At that moment, two hundred houses blaze and others are endangered. The hustle is scary. In addition to the crackling fire, the noise of collapses and cries of people means the neigh and cries of death of many horses, chickens and pigs are the only victims.
About five o'clock the wind decreases. We begin to count the losses, seven factories, the sewing Sainte-Genevieve Girouard academy and 29 square homes on four streets in height and eleven cross streets.
(Translation may contain errors)
©2016 Linda Sullivan-Simpson