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Major Fires and Incidents

1948 - Goodrich Surplus Store Fire

On the night of September 8, 1948 ten firefighters were injured fighting the same fire. The third alarm fire started in the basement of the Goodrich Surplus Store at 6th and Market Streets. The store occupied the ground floor of the Victory Hotel with guests staying on the second and third floors. Upon arrival, the first alarm units found a high concentration of heat and smoke in the store; the fire was progressing to the hotel upstairs.

The firefighters knew they had to concentrate their efforts on rescuing hotel guests before any attempts at a direct attack could be made on the fire. All residents were rescued and evacuated. As Truck Company 1 and Engine Company 6 began going in to the basement, a backdraft occurred and the men were blown out into the street. One firefighter's helmet was found across the street. Fire Chief George Courser was injured but refused treatment and remained on the scene. The estimated fire loss was $200,000.