Carthage Fire of 2002
On March 2, 2002 eight buildings were lost (at the site of a fire that had happened 103 years before - Great Carthage Fire of 1884
) and another was demolished, a hundred fifty people, and as many as twenty-seven families were homeless after an early morning fire swept through downtown Carthage
. The fire was believed to have started in a wood-burning furnace in the cellar of the former Harold Johnson auction store, previously an F.W. Woolworth
store, but an exact cause has not been found. At least ten fire departments and over two hundred fifty fire fighters struggled through the day trying to stop and contain the blaze, and it was estimated that over eight thousand gallons of water a minute were being used, with a total of three million gallons by noon and as the day went on water was taken from the Black River
to allow the Carthage
water tower to refill.
The website March 2, 2002: A Fire of Historic Proportions Rips Through Carthage NY
has an almost minute-by-minute description of the 2002 blaze. The site is created and maintained by Lynn Thornton of Carthage.
Great Carthage Fire of 1884
Disasters and Catastrophes