Wilmington Dispatch February 18, 1904 Fire early last night destroyed property of Hall & Pearsall and the George L. Morton Company, on the waterfront, valued at about $25,000, almost fully covered by insurance. At one time it appeared that the fire would spread to other valuable property in that section of the city, but by hard fighting the fire department succeeded in controlling the flames and confining them to a comparatively small area. The Seaboard Air Line warehouses on the north and Hall & Pearsall's large "Water-Land Warehouse" on the south narrowly escaped burning. The fire was discovered at 7:30 o'clock by Night Watchman A.C. Bielet. The department responded to the alarm from box 41 at Nutt and Brunswick streets. The fire started on the north side of Hall & Pearsallís small warehouse. The building was soon in flames. In it were stowed spirits of turpentine, molasses, hay, vinegar, etc., cotton seed, meal, cotton and a few other kinds of heavy goods. Two explosions scattered the debris and the fire broke out in several places at the same time. The naval stores yard of the George L. Morton Co. were soon in flames and about 500 barrels of tar and crude turpentine together with 300 empty tar barrels were burned. The company also lost 75 casks of spirits in the warehouse. The firemen fought the flames from the land and from the river. Two engines and several streams from hydrants were used on the land side and the tug MARION and a fire engine on a flat, which was towed by the MARION, kept several streams playing on the fire from the river. One of the engines on land came near being caught by the flames but the firemen, by brave work succeeded in saving it with little damage. The fire was under control in two hours. On account of the poor location of hydrants the firemen were at a great disadvantage in fighting the flames. The fire is thought to have been started by wood cutters who were at work there yesterday and left without putting out the fire which they built to keep warm.
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