List of Fires 1870-1958


April 9, 1870

North Mahanoy Breaker


December 3, 1882

The Dipper Block 100 West Center


February 13, 1883

700 Block on east Center South Side


April 3, 1885

Enich Block


September 17, 1887

Buck Mountain Breaker


January 16, 1891

Irish Bookstore


April 30, 1891

Parmley Building


February 7, 1894

Kaiser Block


January 23, 1898

Record Printing Office, Eichman's Stable and Hosiery Mill ( arson)


March, 1901

Hoppes Mill


May 3, 1903

Rear of Guinan's Store


February 10, 1904

Kreb's Drugstore


November 20, 1909

Knickerbocker Breaker


October 15, 1913

Kaier Opera House Block


November 25, 1913

Dipper Block


November 27, 1913

Mahanoy American Printing Company


February 13, 1917

Dipper Block and other buildings


February 14, 1917

Friedburg Warehouse


November 10, 1922

St. Nicholas Union Church


January 9, 1923

Armory Hall


May 2, 1923

Ball Lumber Yard


December 25, 1924

Majestic Poolroom and other stores


February 27, 1925

500 Block West arket Street


January 11, 1926

Hosiery Mill on North Eighth Street


June 15, 1926

Holy Rosary Rectory, Mahanoy Plane



January 10, 1927

St. Casmir's Church


February 4, 1927

Ruby Provision Company


November 4, 1930

1100 Block East Center , South Side


August 15, 1933

100 Block on East Center, South Side


August 16, 1933

St. Aiden's Church, Ellengowen


February 5, 1937

14 Properties in the 1100 Block of East Center Street


February 22, 1937

Lakewood Pavilion


October 26, 1937

Kaier Garage on Vine Street


June 19, 1938

Mahanoy Township High School


October 3, 1940

Scrafford's Inn, Hometown


November 10, 1942

Central Bowling Alley


July 9, 1943

Calnon's Laundry


May 30, 1945

The Memorial Day Fire raged along West Center Street from Locust through Linden and from Railroad to Market


March 3, 1946

Eagles' Building


March 29, 1947

Park Breaker


January 6, 1948

Klitzner and Romak, the old Skeath Lumber Yard


January 16, 1948

St. Paul's Evangelical and Reformed Church


February 13, 1948

Herb Noakes and James Miles Residences


June 27, 1948

Janowitch Dress Factory


October 13, 1950

Janowitch Dress Factory


December 16, 1951

St. Nicholas Ukrainian Church


July 22, 1952

Lutz Lumber Company, West Center St.


May 20, 1955

100 Block on East Pine


December 19, 1956

Old Schoolhouse in Bowmans


December 6, 1958

Homes on 300 Block of West Mahanoy


Source: Record American December 29, 1958


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New Centennial HD DVD



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A Night to Remember- the Herman Coffee Fire


At 6:30 on the evening of December 29, 1958 I was watching TV in our home at 101 East Pine Street. When I look back at the TV listings in the Record American for that day I figure I must have been watching either Superman on Channel 11, or Popeye Theater on Channel 6 . I know I was waiting to watch Death Valley Days on Channel 3 at 7:00. In those days we had five channel choices: 3,6,8,10 and 11.

I was enjoying the freedom of the last few days of Christmas vacation. As a nine year old fourth grader at St. Canicus I wasn't looking forward to going back to school on January 5th.


Shortly after 6:30 the whistle blew above the Teen Canteen. At first I thought it was the 7:00 whistle, but after it blasted more than three times I knew it was a fire. I looked outside to see the Citizen's Fire Company across the street spring into action. I got my coat and raced out to see where they were heading. I didn't go far. One block away fire had broken out on South Main Street.


I remember going into Marty Heiler's gas station and helping him carry out some items he had in his store front. I can't imagine kids today being allowed anywhere near the fire scene.


This was the second huge fire I had witnessed since we had moved to Pine Street from North Main in 1955. The first large fire was right up the street from our house at the end of the 100 block.( See List of Fires in sidebar.)


Tragically a well known local businessman, Herman Coffee, lost his life on December 29, 1958 in a fire that left many homeless and caused one half million dollars in property damage and loss.





The pictures below were taken by Mahanoy City High School student Charlie Palulis on the night of the fire and the day after. Charlie lived a short distance from the fire in the zero hundred block of East Pine. Thanks to Charlie for allowing the Historical Society to use many of the photos he has taken in over fifty years as an photographer.



Click on the picture to enlarge and/or view the slide show.