A general alarm fire reported as the worst in the history of Kingston destroyed two lumber companies, four homes, seven vehicles and injured 21 people, mostly firefighters, on Aug. 9, 1964.
More than 260 firefighters from across the Wyoming Valley were called to battle the massive blaze at John and Union streets. More than 60 men from the 109th Field Artillery were called to assist in crowd and traffic control and help in evacuating homes that were threatened by flames.
“The fire which broke out about noon was fanned by high winds which spread it over one quarter block area,” the Times Leader reported Aug. 10, 1964.
Most of the injured firefighters suffered minor burns and lacerations as well as smoke inhalation, the newspaper reported.
Clarence Hyatt, a member of the Columbian Fire Co., was the lone firefighter admitted to Nesbitt Memorial Hospital in Kingston.