News: Medford, Wis., - Hurd Fire (2 MAY 1949)
Contact: Robert Lipprandt
----Source: The Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, WI), 04/02/1949
Medford Fire Damage May Hit $750,000
Medford, Wis. - A fire, which raged out of control temporarily, roared through the main plant and office of the Hurd Millwork Corp., here yesterday, causing damages estimated by a company official at between $500,000 and $750,000.
The blaze, believed caused by an overheated electric motor, was discovered shortly before 2 p.m. and fire departments from four communities were unable to bring it under control more than an hour and a half later.
At one time the roaring
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flames threatened two houses on the plant grounds and part of the town’s business section, but a drizzling rain which began about noon helped halt the threat of spreading flames.
By the time the fire was brought under control, it had burned the two-story main office and destroyed the main plant. The two buildings were about a city block in length.
Sawdust and western pine lumber helped feed the flames which were visible for miles. The plant manufactures window sashes and frames and doors.
The buildings were only 13 years old, the plant having been destroyed by fire in July, 1936.
Firemen managed to save the cutting room, boiler room and all the warehouses at the plant. However, all the working machinery was destroyed, since it was housed in the main plant. The steel warehouses which were saved contained limber. The main plant was a tile building.
The Medford water supply was exhausted during the blaze and firemen were forced to pump water from the Black river which, fortunately, runs about 300 feet from the millwork plant.
Firemen from Medford, Athens, Rib Lake and Stetsonville battled the flames. Late last night they were still pouring water on the smoldering embers in an attempt to keep a high wind from starting the fire anew.
About 350 employees were employed at the plant, Only watchmen were on duty at the time of the fire.
Company officials indicated that they would rebuild. Harry M. Hurd is the main owner of the plant.
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