Blast From the Past: Fire at the Boston and Maine Railroad freight house in Concord

Fire crews battle a major blaze at the Boston and Maine Railroad freight house in Concord some time in the 1940s. The building  and several train cars were destroyed and one firefighter was injured, but nobody was killed. Courtesy of N.H. Historical Society
Fire crews battle a major blaze at the Boston and Maine Railroad freight house in Concord some time in the 1940s. The building and several train cars were destroyed and one firefighter was injured, but nobody was killed. Courtesy of N.H. Historical Society

During the 1940s, there was a devastating fire in Concord at the Boston and Maine Railroad freight house. Those brave Concord Fire Department first responders arriving on the scene did not know the contents of the warehouse initially. It was not long before the firemen realized the severity of the fire was greatly heightened by what they discovered upon entering the blazing warehouse.

The Boston and Maine Railroad freight house fire gutted and destroyed the building and six railroad cars before the Concord Fire Department could uncouple the string of cars and move them out of reach of the fire. Inside the freight house were found cases of dynamite and shotgun shells, not to mention 1,300 cases of beer, adding to the danger faced by the Concord firemen as well as the spectacle of the blaze.

While shotgun shells exploded and beer bottles popped, firemen used their hooks and improvised battering rams trying to break down the doors of the freight house. One fireman was injured but fortunately no lives were lost.

Author: James W. Spain II / For the Insider

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