Saturday, April 11, 2015

Shopping Saturday: Cockrell's Store

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA)
26 February 1874


[Correspondence of the Alexandria Gazette]

BRENTSVILLE, February 24. - A most disastrous fire occurred at Dumfries on Monday evening about dark, in the store of Mr. Charles H. Cockrell.  It appears that Mr. Cockrell whilst filling one of the store-room lamps, held the burning wick in his hand, the flame coming in contact with the floor, which was saturated with oil, and, of course, immediately ignited.  So rapid was the progress of the flames that every effort of Mr. Cockrell's to extinguish them was unavailing.  The oil barrel soon was enveloped, and exploded in the hands of a gentleman who was trying to role [sic] it out of the window, but strange to say, it did not injure him, whilst the shock knocked down a young man named Brawner,  tearing his vest, in which he had about fifty dollars, which was lost in the fire.  The explosive substances, together with the high wind, soon placed the fire beyond the control of the citizens.  Several parties suffer severely, and some are made utterly destitute by this catastrophe.  Mr. Cockrell loses about $2,500. Mr. King, and family, who occupied the upper portion of the store, are left in most destitute circumstances, everything they had being  burnt up.  Mr. Garrison loses his house and most of his property, and Mrs. Keys, the owner of the house, loses also.  None of the property was insured, and the loss is a serious one to the sufferers.


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