N&W in 1909--Fire

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Fri Mar 6 21:44:30 EST 2009

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
April 23, 1909

Pumping Station, Dwelling, Restaurant, Drug Store and Lot of Lumber at Matoaka Also Destroyed

A fire broke out in a restaurant at Matoaka yesterday at noon and did considerable damage. The flames spread rapidly, and with the limited means at hand no headway could be made by the citizens in their efforts to save the property. A defective flue is thought to have been the cause.
The Norfolk and Western is the heaviest loser. The freight and passenger station were entirely destroyed, as well as the pumping station and water tank. A dwelling also belonging to the railroad was burned. The Norfolk and Western loss is estimate at $5,500 and the entire loss may reach $15,000.
In addition to the improvements lost by the Norfolk and Western a lot of lumber and supplies stored in the yard near the station were burned.
The building in which the fire originated was owned by George Souffer, and was occupied by W. B. Crosby, who conducted a small general store and restaurant on the first floor and a hotel upstairs.
The Hiland drug store building was owned by a Mr. Kennison. The stock of drugs was valued at $2,000. The upper floor of this building was used as a boarding house.
A three story building stood next to the drug store and climbing on to the roof of this and pouring water from buckets over the side it was prevented from catching fire.
Railroad men succeeded in carrying out all freight, express, papers, books, etc., from the freight and passenger stations.
[According to the N&W Annual Report for year ending June 30, 1905, the pumping station, a 50,000 gal. water tank and a combination freight and passenger station were all built at Matoaka during that period.]

Gordon Hamilton
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