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Town of Wellsville Related Articles

National Aluminum Plant Burns in Wellsville (1914)

From the Andover News, January 23, 1914.
Transcribed by Suzette Pondillo.


$250,000 FIRE IN WELLSVILLE

Plant of the National Aluminum Co. Burns, Throwing 100 People Out of Employment---Other Damage.

Wellsville, Jan. 20.—The National Aluminum works, in Wellsville, and probably the largest independent aluminum factory in the world, was totally destroyed by fire here about 6 o’clock last night. The loss will amount to $250,000. The blaze carried with it the building of the Duke Hose Company and a greater part of the German Methodist Church. For some time it was feared that a greater part of that section of the village would be swept away. At one time six buildings were on fire.

Over 100 people, many of whom were girls, were employed in the three-story wooden factory of the aluminum works. They escaped from the building with difficulty. One workman, Frank Nisel, was overcome by the smoke and dragged from the building by his companions. His condition today was not considered dangerous. Other employees escaped without injury.

The blaze originated on the second floor of the building and is thought by workmen to have been caused by an explosion of a benzene tank. The blaze, aided by a strong wind, swept through the building, making terrific headway. The building was a mass of ruins in less than an hour.

Frantic efforts of firemen and citizens saved, with difficulty, the large factory and lumber yards of the Oak Duke Lumber Company, which is just across the street from the burned building. Snow-covered roofs alone were responsible for the safety of immediate factories and dwellings.

The loss is one of the heaviest in Wellsville in years. Besides the loss to the proprietors of the factory, 100 people are thrown out of employment. A large number of local business men are interested in the works. The industry was one of the most valuable in the town.

No statement has been given out by John E. Potter, president of the corporation, but it is probable that the factory will be rebuilt.

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