Events
 
 

The Fire of 1902

    The Fire was discovered in the trolley car sheds of the Jersey City, Hoboken and Paterson Railway Company, on Broadway, at the head of Mulberry street, a few minutes past midnight, on the night of February 8th, 1902. A high wind was blowing, and the tinder-like building was swept by the flames. All the engines in the fire department were called out. The fire evaded the heroic efforts of the firemen to stay its progress. Fanned by the gale, it swept away the business center of the city. Its progress was not arrested until it reached Carroll street. Not counting sheds or outbuildings, 459 buildings were destroyed, among them large business houses, banks, City Hall, five churches and the Free Public Library, with its 37,000 volumes. The insurance loss is approximated at $8,800,000, and the property loss at $6,000,000. Five hundred families lost their homes and everything they owned. From the starting point, the fire burned in a southeasterly direction, destroying the blocks on the westerly side of Main street, from a point near Broadway, to within three doors of Market street. On the easterly side of Main street the flames wiped out the two blocks from Van Houten street to the Paterson Savings Institution, at the corner of Main and Market streets. On Washington street it swept the major part of the block bounded by Van Houten and Ellison streets and the entire block between Ellison and Market streets, with the exception of the Second National Bank Building. The flames also destroyed buildings on the southerly side of Market street from Hamilton street to Clark street, and the westerly half of the block bounded by Market, Church and Ellison street. From this point the flying embers fired the buildings east of the Erie Railroad and destroyed property on the northerly side of Park avenue and between Park avenue to the southerly side of Market street as far as Carroll street. It was the biggest conflagration in the history of the city, and takes rank with the largest in the United States. The fire burned from midnight Saturday until 1 o'clock the following day, at which time the danger of a further spread of the flames was considered over.

    Click on image to see larger view
     

     Car Barns where fire started.
     

     Park Avenue Baptist Church

     Ruins of Public Library
     

     Cooling off a safe -- First National Bank

     Site of Public School #15 -- looking down Market St.

     Looking from City Hall to Car Barns


Contact Us