On January 3rd, 1999, Saltaire suffered its worst fire of recent years. The Segal House on Navy Walk by the ocean was totally consumed ("down to the posts") and the neighboring Dowling house was severely damaged.
The cause of the fire was probably spontaneous combustion of painting materials in the shed of the Segal house. The Fire Department was challenged by the heavy wind and rain from the worst storm in memory (5" of rain.)
Narrrow walks and fences both added to the difficulties that the Fire Department faced in gaining access to the fire. With the aid of neighboring fire companies, the damage was limited to two houses but it was a very close call.
At their meeting on January 16th, 1999, the trustees received a report on the fire from Chief Vern Hendricson. In the months to come, it is likely that the village will debate the lessons can be taken from this disaster.
The following pictures of the fire were taken by Bernard Wincig.
The following pictures of the fire's aftermath were taken by trustee and firefighter, Liv Hempel.