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Insect Killing Company’s Factory Burned— Gas Tanks Threatened

The two-story frame factory of the Bowker Insecticide Company, at Smith and Huntington Streets, Brooklyn, was entirely destroyed by a fire which started in the engine room of the building last night. For a time it was thought that the shower of sparks would cause an explosion of the huge tanks of the Brooklyn Union Gas Company, half a block away. The flames spread to several storage sheds of the company fronting on the Gowanus Canal, and destroyed them. Four alarms were sent in and two fire boats responded with the engines.

Several employees of the place had a pitched battle yesterday with the Italians who live in the district, and the police are looking for possible clews to an incendiary. The fire caused damage estimated at $50,000.
—New York Tribune, March 23, 1908

free mulch! free mulch!Hahira Barney Lakeland adds: There were, alas, no photographs or illustrations accompanying this article but I would like to point out that a Brian Berger photograph has recently appeared at Found In Brooklyn, whose editor, Lisanne McTernan, is temporarily without camera herself. There’s a nice little mystery going on there about the subject of the picture but perhaps a WWIB reader can help out. Reached for comment, Berger declined to speculate on any possible “meaning” to his work, although he seemed quite eager to talk about the burgeoning “Free Mulch” movement in Dunedin. This is apparently what happens when one stays down in Florida too long.

Hahira Barney Lakeland is a graduate of Edward R. Murrow High School School in Midwood and she did not take this photograph; Caz Dolowicz, alleged to be a leader of the Free Mulch party, might have.

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