June 16, 1959 – Filmed as wind-whipped flames snarled and crackled through the little village of Lanark, near Ottawa, Canada, gutting the main part of the business section, demolishing a score of homes, and burning down the town hall.
Even the telephone building burned. Operators were able to get help calls out, but the last word from Lanark was: “The telephone building is on fire.” On their own the villagers fought frenziedly. All but the able-bodied had to be evacuated, however. The high winds and up-draft from the fierce heat made it a hopeless fight.
Local residents worked desperately with all available fire-fighting equipment to hold the fire until brigades summoned from surrounding towns and from Ottawa could arrive. But they were halpless against the raging fire. By the time other brigades arrived it was completely out of control.
The fire is believed to have started in the village lumber yard.
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