fire ever in Simcoe -- Splendid lithograph plant of Dominion Canners
80 highly paid artists and artisans out of work
At six o'clock last
bight when the staff of the Simcoe Lithograph Co. left their work
everything about the premises was in apparent good order and not a hint
was there of the disaster so soon to overtake it.
The building was a
ponderously constructed one, stretching between two streets along the
of the town block lying on upper Robinson street.
Its dimensions were
approximately 90 x 250 feet, two stories in height. It was of sand-lime
brick and cement, and had been especially designed for the purpose for
which it was used, and erected some four years ago.
conservative estimate puts the cost of replacing it
at the present time at $90,000. It cost $60,000.
It was filled with
an up-to-date lithographing plant that was the admiration of every
printer that saw it. And it was the pride of the town, whose citizens
rejoiced to see its steady growth into a large industry. A very large
stock of materials was carried and millions of labels were on hand for
the use of the various factories of the Canners.
That was the
condition at 6 o'clock last night. This morning nothing is left save
remnants of crumbling walls, smouldering debris and scrap.
A fire wall cut off
the office from the work-department and they were not burned, through
badly treated. The vaults, in which were stored the original drawings of
the company, are standing, but there is grave doubt as to whether they
withstood the heat.
The fire was
discovered about 8 o'clock. It was in the interior of the factory, well
towards the east end. When first seen, the flames had already gained
considerable headway and although the fire brigade was prompt and soon
had four streams of water going, there was never from the first any hope
of getting the fire under control before it has completed its work.
There was a high
west wind that might have blown the flames across Metcalfe Street and
swept up the big block of factories there. But they contented themselves
by going upwards.
Heavy snow lay
everywhere, which helped some; and the firemen were indefatigable. The
people living across Robinson Street moved out their furniture, but had
to put it back again as nothing outside the litho building burned save a
small barn immediately to the north of it.
The fire is a
severe blow to Simcoe. There is no disguising that fact. At the moment
it is difficult to get any informed person to express opinions.
As always after
such fires there is talk of incendiarism. Whether there is ground for
the talk of not cannot be asserted.
No one here knows
the amount of insurance carried. That is looked after in Hamilton and we
could not get anyone on the phone who could inform us. The future
intentions of the company cannot be indicated. Necessarily they are not
The task of
replacing the plant could be one of great difficulty. Simcoe people can
only hope that the company will face it strenuously and with as little
loss of time as possible. To place a figure on the loss this morning can
at best be only a guess. But it will exceed a quarter of a million.
A telephone message
from Hamilton places the loss at $250,000, fully covered by insurance.