The Great Fire of 1916

[Train Whistle] On March 22, 1916, 6:20 pm, an alarm was turned in from box 34, located at the corner of Broad and 8th Streets. Box 34 was across the street from the Dyer Building, where the devasting blaze began. Fire Chief Frank G. Reynolds and Engine Co. 1 were on the scene in less than two minutes. The fire was brought under control nearly 11 hours later, but not before scorching 160 acres, burning 682 buildings, destroying 25 businesses and residential blocks— leaving 300 persons temporarily homeless, and causing 6 million dollars in property damage. Remarkably, the blaze claimed no lives. Over 70 firefighters from the city’s five engine companies, 2 hose companies, 1 ladder company, and 1 chemical company fought the fire. Eventually additional help came from the fire departments from Waynesboro, Macon, Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston, and Greenville. Atlanta and Macon firemen noted the Augusta sky was visible 20 miles from the city, painting the sky a gory red. The disaster resulted in the adoption of a strict building code which included restoring an earlier ban on shingle roofs. The city also authorized the purchase of two automobile pumping engines. [Train Whistle]

Augusta's Story
  1. Paleo-Indians
  2. Stallings Island
  3. The Age of Exploration: The DeSoto Exhibition; 1540
  4. Early Colonial Period; 1685 – 1736
  5. Late Colonial Period
  6. The American Revolution, 1776 - 1783
  7. Antebellum Society
  8. Dave: Enslaved Potter and Poet
  9. Cotton
  10. Civil War; 1861 - 1865
  11. Reconstruction
  12. The Golden Blocks
  13. The Augusta Canal and the Cotton Industry
  14. Petersburg Boat
  15. Industrial History
  16. Mill Life
  17. World War I
  18. The Great Fire of 1916
  19. 1920s
  20. World War II
  21. Savannah River Site
  22. Integrating Augusta
  23. The Augusta Riot
  24. 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s in Augusta
  25. Augusta and the Late 20th Century to Today
  26. Thank you to our partners