The Red Caboose Page 393
area when Wilkinson, an Augusta livestock dealer, gave the alarm.
"I came out and moved my car and spotted a squad car and told the officer about
the fire," Werlein said. "I saw a little smoke at the corner of the shed but it
suddenly turned into an inferno and the wind blew the flames right through the pens
George Reiter of 3370 Blakeley Ave., an employee, reported the flames came
right over the top of the hay like someone pushed it. "When the wind hit it, it went right
through the buildings and there was nothing we could do, he said.
He reported a couple of the boys grabbed fire extinguishers but it was useless.
Injured fighting the blaze and taken to Sacred Heart Hospital for treatment by the
Prock and City County Ambulances were : Charles Brest, 27, of 326 1/2 N., Dewey St.,
smoke inhalation; Tully Stolts, 33, of 311 1/2 Dodge St., laceration to the right elbow;
the Rev. Norbert Wilger, 41, of 1827 Lynn Ave., finger laceration; and John Bresina, 27,
of 1111 Garfield Ave., smoke .inhalation.
Firemen stayed at the scene for more than four hours with the last unit clearing at
7:36 p.m. Roger Frye, a member of the Altoona Fire Department, reported he was
returning from Bloomer on CTH F when he and his brother spotted the : smoke
high in the sky. "We i knew someone was getting it but we didn't realize it was
here," Frye said. He returned in time to aid in fighting the blaze.
The tremendous heat generated by the blaze buckled a railroad spur track
immediately behind the buildings and burned down overhead wires. It reportedly
damaged two boxcars standing on the siding.
The photos on the next two pages were taken by Claude Schilling of Schilling Photo and in 1971
the business address was 1604 Lynn Ave in Altoona – phone 834 7208.