Brackett's Drugstore Fire, Thomaston, 1940

Contributed by Thomaston Historical Society

Brackett's Drugstore Fire, Thomaston, 1940

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On February 23, 1940 a fire caused $10,000 damage to Winfield H. Brackett's drugstore in the Watts Block on Main Street. The Press Herald reported the following:

"Fire at 9:45 this morning swept the rear part of the W. H. Brackett drug store located in Watts Block, in the heart of the business district. The front of the store was damaged by the intense heat, smoke and water and the total loss is estimated at $10,000.

Winfield H. Brackett, owner said it was insured for a substantial amount. The fire was caused by the explosion of a kerosene one-burner oil stove. John Hewett, 69, a clerk, was the only one in the store at the time, and he tried to stop the fire by throwing some papers and boxes that had ignited out the back door. As he started down the steps to go to the Thomaston garage nearby to put a call in for the fire department, he caught his leg between the steps and fell.

The Davis ambulance was called and he was taken to the office of Dr. Everett W. Hodgkin’s, where X-rays showed a dislocated left ankle, also a fracture of the lower left leg and a burned left hand. He was later removed to his home on Main Street.

The fire spread rapidly due to the stock of ether and acid and other inflammable goods. The stock of Richards and Libby’s clothing store next to the drug store, was damaged by smoke.

The post office on the other side of the drug store, the Town Hall and armory above and the selectmen’s office below were undamaged. The block is comparatively new, having replaced the former Watts Block, which was destroyed in the big Thomaston fire in 1915."

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About This Item

  • Title: Brackett's Drugstore Fire, Thomaston, 1940
  • Creation Date: 1940
  • Subject Date: 1940
  • Location: Thomaston, Knox County, ME
  • Media: Photographic print
  • Dimensions: 11.5 cm x 16.5 cm
  • Local Code: PhotographsBoxFires
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Thomaston Historical Society
PO Box 384, Thomaston, ME 04861
(207) 354 2295

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