In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Biddeford History & Heritage Project

Sharing the history of a proud city rising where the water falls

Cities of Smoke and Soot

Fire inside of Diamond National lumberyard, Biddeford, 1963

Fire inside of Diamond National lumberyard, Biddeford, 1963

Item 99400 info
McArthur Public Library

The Diamond National lumberyard was consumed by flames exactly one month following the destruction of the Grafton lumberyard. The lighted mill windows depict how fast the fire progressed when it reached the large mill at around 1:30 PM. Half of a square mile of Hooper Street was consumed by the fire, this included eighteen buildings, of which many were tenement housing.

Perpendicular to Hooper is Elm Street, which was in constant danger from the fiery embers carried by sweeping winds. The heat from the burning wood in the yard was so intense that firemen were working constantly to replace their scorched hose lines. A special city council meeting that evening was held that night in order to address the overall hose shortage that had been caused by the blaze.

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