Is There Firebug in Harcourt?

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The Fort Dodge Messenger: March 31, 1903

Is There Firebug in Harcourt?

Events of Past Few Days Cause Strong Suspicion

Three Fires in Same Place.

Harcourt Citizens Kept Busy Fighting Fire in Haggin Drug Store – A Period of Excitement.

Harcourt, March 31 – Harcourt has this week had a narrow escape from a disastrous fire which has awakened much excitement among the citizens of this town. Last Wednesday morning about 7 o’clock the fire was discovered at the drug store. With the aid of as many citizens as could be mustered and the appliances which the town possesses the fire was quickly subdued without any damage to property.

About 10 o’clock the same day the cry was again raised, “Fire at the drug store,” and by the time sufficient aid arrived the whole building, including the restaurant building now occupied by L. Haggin and family for living room was filled with a dense smoke. About fifty men arrived at the scene, some of them fighting the fire and the rest removing the furniture from the rooms. The most valuable portion of the drug stock was also removed.

though the whole building seemed on fire, yet the citizens by heroic exertions again saved it and the fire was supposed to be out but the next morning at 3 o’clock the fire alarm was again called and the fire again put out.

How the fire started in a mystery and considerable talk of incendiarism is beaing (sic) heard, altho no cause or reason can be assigned for such a supposition. The building, a double one, two stories high, is owned by W.J. Struthers and J.E. Swanburg, Mr. Haggin, the druggist leasing the building. The furniture and drug stock are badly damaged from the effect of fighting the fire.

Had the building burned down, there is no doubt that the meat market owned by A.A. Peterson and the Wilson Brothers store would have shared the same fate as they adjoin it.

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