BLACKSMITH SHOP AND TWO RESIDENCES DESTROYED AT FAIRWATER
Brandon Times, March, 1922
While all the Village was asleep in the early
still hours of the morning Friday, March 24th, the neighbors in the vicinity of O. H.
Riant's blacksmith shop were awakened by the crackling and light from the burning building
which was well under way.
The alarm of fire was rapidly spread. Church bells were rung to call for
assistance, and a crowd quickly gathered to do their utmost to save the adjoining
residences. Due to lack of organization and efficient apparatus for fighting fire, the
blaze rapidly spread. And in spite of all that could be done, the residence of Mr. O. H.
Riant on one side, and Mr. Fred Berg Sr. on the other, were very soon wrapped up in the
The fire resulted in the destruction of both dwellings and blacksmith shop.
And had it not been for the desperate efforts of the men with their bucket brigade, the
entire group of homes in that section of the village might have been swept away.
Some of the household goods from each of the residences was saved. The
estimated loss on the Riant residence was $3,000, covered by insurance. But his loss on
blacksmith shop and tools is said to be about $6,000 with no insurance. The loss of the
Berg property is estimated at about $3,000 with $1,800 insurance.
The cause of the fire is unknown, but a supposition is that a defect in the
electric wiring in the shop might have been the cause.