Memorable Events

Barn Fire 1909

Reprinted from the "Cleveland Plain Dealer" April 19, 1909

Battle Blaze to Save Their Homes

Bratenahl Residents Press Garden Hose into Serv as Barns Burn.

Finally, The Cleveland Department Summoned to Extinguish Flames

With water buckets and garden hose, residents of Bratenahl made a spirited fight yesterday morning to save their property from flying embers when a fire destroyed two barns, several sheds, and a lot of fence belonging to residents of Burton and Foster Avenues.

At the end of a two hours’ fight, the flames were finally extinguished, but not before engines 29 and 30 of the Cleveland Fire Department had been summoned. The total loss on the property was estimated at $3,000.

The fire was started by the burning of rubbish in an alley between the two streets. The flames first attacked the barn of H. C. Gottschalt, 76 Burton, Avenue. The barn was filled with hay and contained several horses and vehicles. Gottschalt had barely time to rescue the animals when the roof of the barn fell in, carrying down with it the floor of the second story.

From the Gottschalt bard, the fire spread along the fence, and flying cinders set fire to a barn belonging to F. E. Smith, adjoining. The barn and fence belonging to Smith and a fence belonging to P. Sumpf were destroyed.

On the other side of the Gottschalt barn, the flames spread to the property of A. H. Noble. Noble’s barn, coal shed, and chicken coop were reduced to ashes. Across the alley, a shed belonging to F. Shepard also caught fire and burned to the ground.

While the fire was at its height, bunches of burning hay and pieces of shingles were blown far and wide through the neighborhood by the high wind. Dozens of incipient blazes were started by ashes alighting on roofs threatening to increase the property loss.

Occupants of the houses threatened immediately took up their stand on the roofs, and with a garden hose and buckets of water kept the buildings wet enough to prevent their catching fire.

Fearing that the fire might get beyond the control of the volunteers, a call was sent to the Cleveland Fire Department, and two engine companies were sent to the scene. After the engines began working, it was a matter of a few minutes until the fire was entirely extinguished.