News: Medford (First Baptist Landmark Fire - 1965)

Contact: Robert Lipprandt 

Surnames: Curran, Reierson, Shannon

----Source: The Star News (Medford, WI) 12/31/2015

Originally published in the Medford Star News, December 30, 1965

A flash fire early Tuesday morning of undetermined cause leveled the First Baptist Church, a downtown Medford landmark which was constructed in 1899.

It was discovered at 1:20 by a passing motorist, Eldon Shannon, Medford, who roused apartment dwellers in a two-story frame structure only a little more than a sidewalk’s width away from the then furiously burning church building.

Firemen concentrated their efforts to keeping the flames from spreading to the Gordon Reierson apartment house and the newly constructed Clifford Curran law office, also a short distance from the church.

While there was only a slight wind, embers were carried to the courthouse lawn, and the toppling bell tower struck the back stairs of the apartment house, the fire controlled immediately by firemen.

The spectacular fire attracted a large number of Medford residents who were roused by the alarms and sighted the flames lighting up the downtown area.

The church, located atop the “Angel Flight” from Main to Second St., overlooked the business section, being part of the skyline of the hilly downtown area.



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