200 Battle Blaze in Princeton

New York Daily News
22 January 1977

200 Battle Blaze in Princeton

About 200 fire fighters from nine New Jersey communities battled for eight hours yesterday to extinguish a fire which started in the Colonial restaurant on Witherspoon and Spring Sts., in downtown Princeton.

A police spokesman said the fire was discovered about 4 a.m. and it rapidly spread to 10 adjacent stores in the Benson Building, which was destroyed by the blaze. The fire was not brought under control until noon.

Volunteer firemen from Lawrence Township, Princeton Junction, Kingston, East and West Windsor townships, Slackwood, Lawrence Road, and Trenton supported Princeton firemen in putting out the fire. Its cause was not determined.

The police spokesman said about 25 pieces of equipment were called in.

Firemen were still hosing down hot spots yesterday afternoon, the police said, and a heavy crane had to be brought in to knock down the walls lest they collapse.

The fire was about a block from Princeton University and such historic landmarks as the Nassau Inn, but damage was confined to the restaurant and adjoining stores.

No one was injured. No estimate was made of the amount of damage.

Photo caption:

Firemen survey burned-out building at Witherspoon and Spring Sts., Princeton
(News Photo by Frank Hurley)

Princeton Packet 1/26/77

Photo Caption:

FIREWOMAN Hannah Rodweller stands caked with ice from the water spray of … hoses Friday morning.
(Stuart Crump photo)

Princeton Packet

Real tribute
Editor, The Packet:

On Friday, Jan 21, fire destroyed the Benson building on Witherspoon Street. Volunteer fire companies from Princeton Borough, Lawrenceville, Lawrence Road, Slackwood, Kingston, plus units of the Trenton city fire department endured long hours of bitter cold and icy conditions fighting the blaze. The fact that they were able to limit the fire as well as they did is a tribute to the skill, courage and determination of every fireman.

Members of the Princeton First Aid auxiliary and the Trenton Signal 22 Canteen provided very essential hot drinks, soup and sandwiches to help the cause.

We are all deeply appreciative of the efforts of all those concerned, and urge that their organization receive all the moral and financial support the community can provide.

Mr. and Mrs. Paul J. Hill
Hill’s Market

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