N&W in 1912--Two items: Four trains, Fire

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Sun Mar 25 22:20:41 EDT 2012

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Fri., April 19, 1912

Four Trains Arrive at One Time
Last night passenger trains Nos. 3, 10, 6 and 17 all pulled into the depot at the same time. No. 2 was one hour late and No. 6 an hour and fifteen minutes. The travelers were somewhat confused in getting on their trains and the mail which is transferred by No. 10 was transferred at the east end bridge. The men who have in charge [of] this transfer were not pleased with their job last night because the trucks were absent and they had to carry the mail from car to car.

Loss to McCue & Wright Company May Reach $80,000, Though Building Was Not Greatly Damaged--Firemen Do Splendid Work

[This article was almost a full column long and contained much non-railroad material. The N&W-related material that follows has been extracted from the article.]

Fearful of a conflagration which would eat up hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property and snatch employment from over a hundred men, the people of Bluefield listened with alarm last night when at 6:15 o'clock the fire whistle was sounded from box 52. Flames could be seen rushing from the upper story of the big McCue & Wright Milling Company plant on Roanoke street, and all were certain the largest mill on the Norfolk and Western, with but one exception, would be destroyed. Rushing from all parts of the city thousands of people gathered in sections which would permit of their watching the progress of the flames, but all were doomed to disappointment, because while they were looking for fire, the firemen from the Norfolk and Western and the city fire department were rushing to the fire zone....
An intense rivalry between the city firemen and the Norfolk and Western corps added zest to the battle against the flames. The Norfolk and Western men boasted of their pressure which was 140 pounds, while the city firemen could boast of getting the first line of hose on the fire and fighting it from the closest range within a few feet of where the fire was raging inside the wheat scourers, where the fire originated....
...the firemen kept the damage down and did creditable work. But without the Norfolk and Western department it is likely the flames would have spread to an even greater extent; and the incalculable value of the railroad fireman and their four lines of high pressure hose cannot be overestimated.
In the midst of all the excitement the railroad company sent a crew of men and an engine to pull out several cars from the sidetrack in the rear of the mill....
The city forces would have been seriously handicapped by lack of hydrants if it had not been for the railroad department.
Gordon Hamilton
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