Cranbrook Brewery Fire: 0051.0624

CRANBROOK BREWERY PREY TO FIRE FIEND – Loss Is Estimated At $35,000. – Circumstances Point To Out Break Being Of Incendiary Origin.

            A blaze that has thrown fifteen men out of employment and which circumstances point to as being of incendiary origin occurred at 1 a.m. on Sunday morning last when the plant of the Cranbrook Brewing Company fell a prey to fire. The first intimation that the structure was in danger was forth coming when the sister supervisor of the St. Eugene Hospital observed flames shooting up from the brewery building. A little later, following her having sent in an alarm to the telephone office, she heard the sound of an explosion within the burnt plant.

            That, it has since been definitely ascertained, throws doubt on a theory that the fire originated in the boiler room, the explosion being caused by the pressure of superheated air in a tank in the engine room of the building. Evidence has also been adduced, to show that the fire in the boiler room was drawn at four o’clock in the previous afternoon and the floor in the vicinity of the fire place swept up. It has also been ascertained that the shavings bin from which the boiler fires are fed is practically untouched by the flames.

            Efforts put forth by the Cranbrook Fire Department had but little effect on the flames, the fire having made tremendous headway in the few minutes intervening between the turning in of the alarm and the arrival of the fire truck. Two streams of water were laid on the blaze, one only of which was under adequate pressure, the other, owing to a defective hydrant, serving only for protection of the office building of the plant. It is stated on good authority that suspicion points to the defective hydrant having been tampered with prior to the arrival of the fire department. The hydrant has since been replaced.

            The brewery with its contents is a total loss, a conservative estimate placing it at $35,000 covered by Insurance in the amount of $20,000 only.

            Members of the brewery firm state that the rumour that the explosion was caused by the bursting of an ammonia tank is unfounded, the latter having been found intact together with its contents when examination was made of the ruins. All signs point to the fire being started maliciously is the belief of the principle owners of the company’s stock, and not as reported by the Cranbrook correspondent of the Nelson News. The wiring was recently overhauled by Mr. E.H. McPhee, of the Cranbrook Electric Co.

            While nothing definite has been decided upon in respect of erecting a new plant, it is understood that the company is contemplating such a course. It is improbable, however that the new brewery is an industry of importance to the community, hope is being expressed of the company’s finding operations, cost of replacement being variously estimated at from $60,000 to $70,000.

0051.0624: Cranbrook Brewery Fire

Total loss at local brewery caused by fire, with circumstances pointing to being of incendiary origin. One of the two hydrants used to try stopping the fire appeared to have been tampered with.

Medium:  Newspaper - Text
Date:  August 6, 1925
Pages:  1
Publisher:  Cranbrook Courier
Collection:  Columbia Basin Institute (0051)


brewery fire incendiary sister supervisor hospital telephone office explosion engine room boiler room hydrant fire department


People arrow McPheearrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Businesses arrow Breweries and Bottling arrow Cranbrook Brewing Coarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Businesses arrow Electrical arrow Cranbrook Electric Light Co.arrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Services arrow Fire Department and Firesarrow
Cities arrow Cranbrook arrow Hospitals, Clinics arrow St. Eugene Hospitalarrow


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