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[448] did his utmost. Next to the sufferings of those personally interested in the losses of the conflagration, were those of the neighbors and firemen who were stopped on the north side of the bridge, and who saw no way of going to the relief of their friends but by rushing through sheets of fire. If there be acute agony on earth, it is in witnessing calamities and pains which we have the wish, but not the power, to relieve.

The deprivations and exposures consequent upon such a catastrophe can better be imagined than described. Every heart and hand in Medford were ready to administer relief; and all was done for the sufferers that an active sympathy could suggest. Before the first barn was consumed, couriers were sent to the neighboring towns; and the firemen in each one answered with promptitude, and arrived in season to arrest the devastation. The amount of insurance on the buildings was in many cases small; and losses fell on those who could very ill afford them. $1,335 were immediately raised by subscription in Medford, and distributed by a committee to the greatest sufferers among the poor. To the honor of the sufferers be it said, they met the waste of their property, the derangement of their business, and the suspension of their comforts, with firmness and patience. Before the ruins had ceased to smoulder, the sounds of shovel, hammer, and trowel announced the work of reconstruction; and, before two years had passed, a new village, Phoenix-like, had risen out of the ashes of the old.

The Committee of Investigation chosen to estimate the losses examined each case; and their report was $36,000, after all insurances were deducted. About half of the property was insured.

This conflagration convinced the town that another bridge across the river is a necessity; and we wish it had secured the straightening of Main Street, on the east, from the bridge to Short Street.

At the moment (March 6, 1855) that we chronicle the sad events above, we hear that the school-house in Park Street is in ruins. It took fire this morning, while the children were in it; and, being of wood and exposed to a high wind, it was soon consumed. The children were kept from dangerous alarm, and therefore left the house in safety. The building was insured for one thousand dollars.

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March 6th, 1855 AD (1)
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