The Sloan Fire

On March 26, 1952, Apollo Hose Companies No. 2 and No. 3, North Apollo, Kiski Township, and Vandergrift George G. McMurtry Fire Departments were called to fight the stubborn blaze of Sloan’s Five and Dime Store and Armitage’s Grocery Warehouse.  Six other buildings were also damaged, resulting in total fire damage of $100,000.

     The blaze completely wiped out the entire variety store which was operated by Harry and Edward Sloan at 117-121 North Warren Avenue.  The warehouse of E.B. Armitage was partially destroyed.  Other buildings damaged were the Blumenstein residence, Johnston Insurance Office, and Dixon’s Bakery, Lew’s Dairy, Beamer’s Cleaners, Apollo Boot Shop, and Nell’s Beauty Shop, all located across the street from the fire.

     A 1950 Nash sedan, owned by Rowler Coulter, was parked in front of the Sloan building and was extensively damaged by the intense heat which also shattered nearby windows and melted siding on two businesses across the street.

     After the fire, the Sloan building was nothing but smoldering ruins.  Walls of the store were completely down.

     Three fireman, Paul Heckman, Erwin Householder, and William Fishell were injured during the fire.

     The Sloan building was 65 years old and was once owned by Henry D. Bellas who operated a print shop on the second floor and rented the first floor to Saul Blumenstein for a department store.  The building also once housed Rudolph’s Cobbler  Shop years ago.  Mr. Sloan purchased the building 26 years before the fire.

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