Fine Team Work Saved Hampton Academy From Total Fire Destruction

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Hampton Union, Thursday, January 30, 1930

The fire of last Sunday which came so near destroying the old Academy from which so many noted people now prominent in national life and people from our own town and surrounding towns have graduated, brought back a flood of old schoolday memories and how we hated to see it go, and it would have gone but for the heroic fighting of the local fire department, of which we can be justly proud. The fire which caught from a defective chimney, had gained great headway before it was noticed. Starting at the read of the building it was not seen until the smoke was pouring out of the tower openings. Having gained such headway a brisk wind was all that was necessary to have leveled the structure. The fire department responded quickly and undertook a difficult task locating the fire, the smoke being so thick it was impossible to see anything inside the building.

Beginning with the cellar the firefighters worked fast and furiously, handicapped at times with a small amount of water pressure. The entire back end seemed to be a mass of fire - breaking out into flames several times on its way to the very top of the roof, but each time the streams of water subdued the blaze; but so full of fire was the back end that a heavy breeze would have started a fire that could not have been stopped. It was more than an hour before the fire was surely under control. By this time the inside of the building was wrecked from water damage, but by the timely help of the students and townspeople all the books, typewriters and supplies had been removed, only the desks were left to receive the coating of ice which so soon formed. The interior of the structure is a complete wreck with a damage estimated at from $10,000 to $15,000. While everyone wants a new modern school building, all felt very badly to have the old historic school go up in smoke.

The books and supplies were moved to the town hall and part of the home of Mrs. Noyes across the street. Monday the teachers and students spent sorting and storing books in the town hall building where the school is to be temporarily located.

At the meeting of the trustees held Tuesday it was decided to make the necessary repairs as soon as possible. Insurance adjustments were made Wednesday and the work of repairing will begin at once.

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