Fire Destroys Foley's Restaurant on Coldest Day Of The Winter
Thursday, February 18, 1943
Fire destroyed the recently remodeled Restaurant operated by John J. Foley, located at Hampton Center. On one of the coldest days recorded here, the fire broke out about 10 o'clock with a west high wind blowing. The flames fairly leaped across the street almost seeming to envelop the buildings on the opposite side. The fire department arriving very soon after, cut down the flames and held the fire within the Restaurant's walls. Although the Building Block was of wood construction, the fire did not cut through to the adjoining Miller Stove Store, although much damage was done by water.
Fearer's Shoe Store received a small amount of damage by water but it is thought that most of the shoe stock can be saved. Mr. Fearer was partially covered by insurance.
The Foley Restaurant was a complete loss, Mr. Foley having put in much new equipment since his opening. His loss was total as he had not placed any insurance on his fixtures.
The Kiwanis Club which used the new hall on the second floor recently conditioned, lost all of the Club's equipment including a fine piano loaned the Club by Charles E. Greenman, with the exception of the American Flag and Banner which fortunately were left at the High School Hall after the Sunday Dedication Exercises.
Mrs. Cogger who owns the Block stated that she was covered by insurance but had not decided upon future construction of the fire swept building.
While hunting for the smoke, the Restaurant Chef, James Dominick, went to the second floor, only to find the room a mass of flames and he was forced to jump from the second story window. Although bruised, he was not severely injured.
The firemen and Coast Guardsmen who came to help the Fire Department were badly frost bitten and were treated at the office of Dr. C. Brickett Bailey.
The extreme cold hampered the firemen as everything froze as the water touched the surface of an object.
The origin of the fire has not yet been determined after an extensive investigation by Fire Chief (George) Lamott and Police Chief (Jerome) Harkness.
Kiwanians Meet As Usual Despite Club's Fire Loss
While the Hampton Fire Department members were guarding and hosing down the fire ruins of what had been once their headquarters and dining room, the members of the Hamptons Kiwanis Club went to the Fire Station at the Beach and held their regular weekly meeting. And it was one of the best and most interesting meetings in the history of the club in spite of sub-zero temperature and the still smoking ruins of Foley's "Olde Hampshire Room" which had been their happy home for nearly a year. About the only club paraphernalia which was not destroyed were the banners which had been taken the day before to the High school auditorium for the service flag dedication.
The members, canvassed by telephone during Monday, had decided to hold their usual Monday meeting and President Harris appointed himself and F. Fred Hayward a committee of two to buy the food and get the dinner together. It happened that President Harris is stopping for a brief period this winter with his mother in Newburyport so he showed up at noon in the ration board headquarters of that city and asked for certificates to purchase sugar and coffee for a Kiwanis Club dinner. It was not until Ralph reminded the authorities that rationing was federal and not a state matter that he was able to get certificates to buy food for a dinner in New Hampshire.
Tables were laid in the office of the beach commissioners and 16 members sat down to a home-cooked menu which consisted of fish chowder, crackers, relishes, apple pie, cheese and coffee. Kiwanian John W. Perkins discussed "the Home Front Lobby for State and National Legislatures," following which there was the usual interesting question period.
Next week's meeting will be held, in "Community Hall" at the Beach Fire Station and Rent Commissioner George Scammon will discuss the work of his new federal position. Members will please call Dean B. Merrill on Friday and Saturday to arrange for car-pools on next Monday.
Card Of Thanks
We would like to express our appreciation to all who rendered such valuable assistance at the fire on Monday. To the firemen, police, Coast Guard, Bundles for America for the knitted articles sent by Mrs. Alfred Rosser, Mrs. Carolyn Joubert who set up a Canteen- First-Aid Station in her home assisted by units of the Civilian Defense Policewomen, Wardens and Red Cross Canteen Committee.
Dr C. Brickett Bailey canceled his work at the hospital returned immediately to Hampton where he was kept busy for hours treating men for frostbite and minor injuries.
Commander Frank B. Lincoln, Captain of the Port, U. S. Coast Guard had one hundred men standing by for action if needed.
It is very gratifying to know we have these organized units ready to serve in any disaster.
To each and every one who helped in any way, many thanks.
Fire Chief George Lamott
Police Chief Jerome F. Harkness
Foley's Restaurant Fire
Hampton Center, N.H.
February 15, 1943
A fire completely destroyed the Foley's Restaurant February 15, 1943 at 10:14 a.m. on one of the coldest days recorded with the thermometers reading at 20 degrees below zero and in addition a fierce wind blowing. The flames fairly leaped across the street almost seeming to envelope the building on the opposite side. The fire department very soon after cut down the flames and held the fire within the restaurant walls. The adjoining Miller Stove Store and Fearer's Shoe Store were damaged. It almost seemed to be a hopeless task for saving an entire block of stores, but the rush of fire was held, and the greater part of the structure was saved. The extreme cold hampered the firemen as everything froze as the water touched the surface of an object. Firemen and Coast Guardsmen who came to help the fire department were badly frost bitten. With the block of stores burned in the center of town and war conditions, it was impossible to rebuild. This appearance blackened the center of Hampton for a long time to come.
[The following photographs of the Foley's Restaurant
fire are courtesy of Gwen (Paul) Aubrey, formerly of
Hampton, (Hampton Academy Class of '49)
now a resident of Punta Gorda, Florida.]
Click on photos for a larger image
Hampton Diner; First National Store; Miller Stove Store;
Fearer's Shoe Store; Foley's Restaurant.