#TBT: That Time When A Hotel Burned Down In Lewiston Because The Entire Fire Department Was Drunk
In case you need a reminder about how different life was for the people of Maine more than a century ago, this is the absolute perfect story for you. Shared by Steve Dayton in a group on Facebook called "I Was Born In Lewiston and Remember When" is this stunning, and somewhat comical excerpt from the fireman's log in 1909.
It details how a major fire erupted at the DeWitt Hotel at the corner of Park and Pine streets in Lewiston. The hotel sustained massive damage because the Lewiston Fire Department showed up drunk and couldn't put the blaze out. The Auburn Fire Department was called in as reinforcements and later it was determined that the Auburn FD was also drunk while battling the fire.
Back in 1909, the story was a black eye for the city government. Today, a situation like this wouldn't take place but more than a century ago, life was drastically different. As for the DeWitt hotel, it was repaired after the blaze and sustained as a business until 1965 when it was finally torn down.