February 27, 1950
Jackson School Destroyed by Morning Fire
Damages $100,000 From Flames Which Ate Out Interior of Building
Compiled by Lou Hunsinger Jr.
A $100,000 fire of undetermined origin destroyed the 57-year old Andrew Jackson Elementary School at 2216 Linn Street early today as firemen from eight companies battled the blaze in sub-freezing temperatures.
Williamsport School District officials said the valuation of the building and its equipment, placed on the property last summer by a Pittsburgh firm, was approximately $100,000, insurance covered about 80 percent of the loss, they said.
It was the worst fire in the school district in 36 years.
The Williamsport Fire Department sounded a general alarm at 4:15 a.m., 30 minutes after their first alarm was turned in by an unidentified caller living near the Newberry school.
Responding were Williamsport companies No. 2,3,5,6 and 7 and Truck A; First Ward Fire Company, South Williamsport, DuBoistown Hose Company and Loyalsock Township Fire Company. The firemen fought the raging blaze in temperatures near 10 degrees above zero.
A special meeting of the school board was called by George R. Lamade, president of the board for tonight at 7:30 o’clock at the administration building on West Third Street to determine where the displaced 289 students will be accommodated.
Three Newberry churches and the Young Men’s Christian Association have offered the use of any of their facilities, the school board office reports.
This morning, Miss Helen M. Laubach, principal of the Jackson building and Max L. Robbins, district stock clerk met to list needed supplies for pupils when arrangements are made.
Fire Chief Michael E. Clark of the city fire department called the last of his men from the scene about 11:45 a.m., nearly eight hours after the first alarm was sounded.
A wind estimated at 25 miles per hour aided the flames in sweeping the red brick structure in a short time. Part of the west wall fell while firemen were still at the site and the other walls were termed “dangerous” by Chief Clark.