ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY – 40 years ago today on January 19, 1977 – Barrows Block Fire on Main St. in Brattleboro.
Jan. 19,1977 Vermont Brattleboro block destroyed by fire BRATTLEBORO, Vt. ( U P I ) – Firefighters from three states battled a major blaze in sub-zero weather early today, but were unable to save a downtown business and apartment block. Fire officials said the blaze at the Barrows Block on lower Main Street was reported at 3:30 a.m. Three hours later, they said, it was “contained” but still burning. Two firemen reportedly suffered minor injuries, but all occupants of upstairs apartments, many of them elderly, were evacuated safely, officials said. Firefighters from at least eight Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts towns were hampered by the bitter cold. “The water is freezing about as fast as it hits,” a witness said. Firemen were forced to cut power to several residential and commercial sections of town, and highways leading into Brattleboro from the south were closed to traffic. The Barrows Block, a three story brick structure, housed an oil company, a tax preparation office and a cafe.